Liberia - ConstructionLiberia - Construction
OverviewConstruction offers many potential prospects for investment. The capital city Monrovia has an estimated population of 1.2 million people, triple the population for which the city was originally planned. There is growing demand for property renovation and construction of office buildings, shopping malls, business centers, and low-to-middle income housing units. The demand is even more acute in the mining and agricultural concession areas as well as the commercially active regions along Liberia’s key growth corridors: Monrovia-Ganta serving nearly 40 percent of the population, and Buchanan-Yekepa, characterized by the existence of major rail infrastructure.
Housing Sub-sectorAccording to the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF), “Liberia has a growing housing finance sector. As the mortgage market does not yet meet the breadth of the population, most households still finance their housing independently with savings or non-mortgage credit.” http://housingfinanceafrica.org/countries/liberia/. In May 2017, the National Housing Authority (NHA), a state-owned institution, started a construction project to relocate households threatened by severe erosion in a seaside slum. Affordable housing remains one of Liberia’s critical social development needs and the NHA has a program to construct low cost housing units for low-income earners. The NHA is exploring public-private partnerships to construct affordable housing facilities for low-income households. The NHA’s plans include acquiring land across the country to develop low-cost housing and upgrading slum communities in urban areas. The NHA is currently the only institution providing housing on a large scale. However, the organization lacks the capacity to carry out urban construction and related infrastructure work. Moreover, unresolved legal claims to land tenure make investment outcomes uncertain in the housing sector. The lack of developed mortgage markets in the country is also an impediment to developing an enabling housing real estate market in Liberia. The CAHF reported that “the lowest recorded interest rate on a mortgage in Liberia is eight percent, and requires at least a 20 percent down payment. The cheapest newly built house by a developer recorded by CAHF is US$20,000. Cement prices are higher than the continental average, at US$10 for a 50-kilogram bag.” The NHA is partnering with Shelter Afrique, a member of the African Union for Housing Finance, to implement a public housing program by negotiating and acquiring land acreages to construct affordable housing units. As a result of this partnership, the NHA has finalized a plan for the construction of 5,000 units worth over $50 million. See the CAHF website for more information.
Leading Sub-SectorsThe best prospect sub-sectors for U.S. companies include supply of construction materials and equipment, provision of safety equipment, and training of construction workers and real estate professionals. There is also a need for the supply of construction equipment, building materials, and trained construction workers. Providing low-interest financing and supporting a mortgage system for civil servants and middle income workers would be other best prospect sub-sectors for U.S. companies.
OpportunitiesThere are opportunities for U.S. companies in the areas of real estate, road and highway construction, infrastructure consultancy, urban energy and power supply, provision of power and electrical materials and services, drainage systems upgrades, and urban water and sanitation services. The government of President George Weah, elected in December 2017, has initiated a number of large-scale infrastructure projects aimed mainly at road construction.
Web ResourcesMinistry of Public Works
National Housing Authority (NHA), website inactive
Roberts International Airport, website inactive
Ecohomes Liberia, website inactive
African Union for Housing Finance
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Liberia Design and Construction Trade Development and Promotion