COMESA-INDIA-UNIDO Exhibition-Cum-Seminar on Building Materials

13 June 2000

Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, June 12, 2000) - Background: Fast changing demographic and migratory trends in most developing countries are exerting pressure on domestic construction industry for improving efficiency, productivity and delivery systems to meet the housing needs, particularly for citizens in the low-income strata. The materials industry for low-cost housing in most of the countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America is under tremendous pressure as wide-spread scarcity is coming in the way of realizing national goals of housing for all. The severe shortages of building materials have resulted in escalating costs of construction thereby making housing construction unaffordable to large segments of population particularly in low income brackets. One clear option is to promote the use of innovative composite materials based on local resources from forestry, agriculture, natural fibres, plant materials, and other local resources like agricultural and industrial wastes available within the COMESA region. Besides meeting the needs of housing sector, the industrial production of the composite materials from agricultural and industrial wastes would greatly help in environmental protection and energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector. Recognising the need to strengthen the domestic building materials sector in developing countries of Africa, and the COMESA region in particular, the Indian government, COMESA and UNIDO have identified the potential for transferring Indian technologies and experience in eco-friendly and cost-effective manufacture of building materials suitable for low cost housing. The need to exchange experiences on R & D and utilisation of low cost composite building materials has also been recognised. In order to share these experiences and strengthen cooperation between the various stakeholders in India, COMESA and other African countries, an International Exhibition-cum-Seminar will be held in Dar-es-Salaam from June 30 - July 9, 2000, with the financial support of the Government of India

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