Building Materials Costs in Africa Unaffordable

11 July 2000

The Deputy Director General Investment Promotion and Capacity Building of United Nations Industry Development Organization (UNIDO), Dr. Yo Maruno has advised Developing Countries, especially Africa to embark on low cost housing technology in order to save their foreign exchange. "Developing countries spent three billion dollars on importing building materials that could be saved through low cost housing that use local materials," he suggested. Maruno arrived here last week among others, to promote Indian technology on low cost housing the program, which is supported by UNIDO. The India-UNIDO low cost housing seminar had attracted over 200 participants including Indian ministers, experts and the private sector to liberate on how to help local contractors to provide better and cheaper services especially for low income earners. The government of Tanzania has expressed its desire to learn from India's experience in the use of innovative composite materials based on local resources from forestry, agriculture, natural fibres, plant materials and industrial wastes. The Minister of State for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation of India, Bandaru Dattatraya said at least one billion people worldwide lacked adequate shelter the situation, which he said was grim in urban areas. He said estimates indicate that between 30 and 50 percent of people in the urban areas, particularly in developing countries, lived in settlements inadequate housing and sub-standard living conditions

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