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Houses for growth

Vincent Hailulu, CEO of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) says infrastructure development is a key cornerstone for economic growth.
Hailulu told the Economist at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa that ended recently in Cape Town, that the highlight was the acknowledgement and emphasis by the forum on the key issue of infrastructure development.
He said the forum gave participants a clear perspective in terms of the way Africa is moving forward in advancing economic development and the growth agenda.
“Infrastructure development is the main driver of Africa’s economic growth and development. Sectors that are critical and therefore requires massive investment in order to propel Africa’s economic growth are the energy sector, the mining sector, and surely water and other economic sectors not forgetting the social infrastructure which entails housing, education and health,” Hailulu said.
A workshop that he attended on mapping the African infrastructure landscape chaired by Trevor Manuel, the South African Minister of the National Planning Commission, put emphasis on innovation as that will enable African economies to come up with innovative solutions to address particular economic challenges.
“In our group, particular emphasis was on innovation. It was suggested that this should be given particular attention by all African countries because it is innovation that help governments and economies to come up with innovative products and services to satisfy the market needs, social needs and financial needs of any country.
“One example of an innovative solution is the digitization of education in terms of the means and tools we engage to enhance learning and training. We shouldn’t just think in a conventional way of putting up a physical structure but we can use ICT to enhance learning. So you use interactive digital applications instead of the conventional learning methods.”

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