Letshego Namibia to build 4,000 homes with US$50 million loan
By Freeman Ngulu.
Microlender and niche banker, Letshego has received a US$50 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to boost affordable housing lending in Namibia to 4,000 new home owners with the potential to expand their partnership to other countries.
The IFC, the World Bank’s private-sector lending division said it is committed to working with partners across Africa to help increase access to affordable housing, including supporting the development of sustainable mortgage markets.
As a Pan African operation, Letshego is primary listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange with a listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange of the local entity under Letshego Holdings Namibia Ltd. The group has in 10 other countries including Mozambique, Kenya, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Access to affordable housing has been an issue in many African countries, with private developers focusing on the higher end of the market, often leading to an oversupply even as countries continue to suffer a housing deficit.
Andrew Okai, Group Chief Executive, Letshego Holdings said in a statement that their strategic purpose is to improve lives across the communities where they operate. “Increasing access to simple and appropriate financial solutions, for more individuals and small business owners, will enable us to deliver on this promise. By partnering with global institutions like IFC, which share our vision of achieving social impact through sustainable commercial strategies, we can unlock exponential value and potential for us to do more. This is truly an exciting partnership. We appreciate the support, synergy and partnership that IFC brings to our strategy,” he commented.
Although 78% of Namibians have a bank account, only 12% of households have mortgage-financed homes. The majority of Namibians do not qualify for mortgages from commercial banks because they are often unaffordable.
Adam Kasaine, the Chief Executive Officer of Letshego Kenya Limited., said that, “Letshego works with a number of partners to deliver productive lending solutions, like affordable housing, across our footprint in Africa. We have launched affordable housing in four out of our 11 markets so far – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Namibia.”