Bigen Africa to partner with Ghanaian Estate Developer to build low cost housing
A South African infrastructural development company, Bigen Africa, has expressed interest in partnering Ghanaian real estate companies to build affordable houses for the poor and middle income earners.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of Bigen Africa roundtable to introduce the operations of the company to the Ghanaian market, Mr Emmanuel Anesu Kere, the Africa Region Director of the company, said the company had the capacity to deliver and help reduce Ghana’s housing deficit.
Currently, Ghana’s housing deficit stands at about 1.5 million. Even though several real estate companies have had a full plate, the cry of many is that the houses are not affordable largely as a result of cost of materials and the high demand for housing.
But Mr Kere gave the assurance that “Per our experience in South Africa, where we have provided low-cost housing to millions of people, we will transfer that expertise here to support not only the sector in Ghana but infrastructure development in general.
According to him, the company constructs close to 30,000 houses annually in South Africa and was keen to share its knowledge and skill with Ghanaian companies.
With engineering, management consulting and development finance as the heart of its business, the company also has expertise in real estate, water, electricity transmission and distribution. The company’s capabilities are also in waste-water treatment, structural engineering and building technology.
Bigen’s footprint in Southern Africa, especially South Africa includes structural designs of concrete stand for the 45,00-seater Mombela Stadium in Nelspriut, Klarinet Ministerial Integrated, Olievehotbosch Ministerial housing projects, the Oliver Tambo International Pier Project and ESKOM Coal Hauleage Road Repair Programme all in South Africa.
On long term financing in Ghana, he said the financial institutions in the country were unable to provide lines of credit to finance long term projects because most of the local intuitions did not get long term lines of credit for such ventures.
He, however, gave the assurance that Bigen could help provide such facilities to enable the banks to provide 5-30 years long term credit to their clients.
Ghana, just like most African countries, has huge infrastructural deficit but funding remains a major challenge as the national budget has many projects.
In that regard, the Chairman of Bigen Africa, Dr Iraj Abedian, stated that the best way to attract investment into the country was to categories the country’s infrastructure needs to make it easy for investors to identify projects that needed private funding.
He said the value proposition of the company “integrates the entire value chain in an infrastructure development process through in-house capabilities and strategic partnerships from feasibility studies through project preparation, management and implementation to development finance and on-going assets management.”
“We believe that the success of any cost effective and sustainable communities, namely social, institutional, financial and physical elements. Furthermore, we provide clients with a complete solution to all facets of a project based on among others our intimate understanding of the requirements of governments, local authorities and other stakeholders.”
The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Anton Bosoff, noted that the company was using Ghana as a launch pad for West Africa and would soon extend its tentacles to Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Senegal.
He said the company was attracted to Ghana because of the country’s stable political environment and friendly business atmosphere.