NAIROBI– Ten African startups will benefit from new funding, mentorship and capacity-building help from Habitat for Humanity, an international charity, to promote access to affordable housing in low-income settings.

The 10 startups from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa will each receive $10,000 and training to enable them to meet shelter needs of poor households, Habitat for Humanity said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, Tuesday evening. 

Habitat for Humanity’s Africa Vice President Maurice Makoloo said a partnership with social enterprises will promote access to affordable housing through leveraging technologies and innovations. 

He said that by enabling startups to experience first-hand immense opportunities that exist in the affordable housing sector and work alongside industry leaders, they will be exceptionally positioned to provide the innovation the market needs so that families can improve the places they call home.

Statistics from Habitat for Humanity indicates that 60 percent of Africa’s urban households, equivalent to 238 million people, live in informal settlements, with deplorable shelter that lacks basic amenities like clean water and sanitation. 

Domiciled in Habitat for Humanity’s ShelterTech Sub-Saharan Africa Accelerator, the new support for startups seeks to harness innovation, private capital and strategic partnerships to address housing deficits in the continent, Makoloo said.

In addition, the accelerator program connects cutting-edge innovations with private-sector players to address the shortage of quality and affordable housing products and services in Africa, according to Makoloo. 

The startups selected to benefit from Habitat for Humanity’s funding include Nigeria’s H28, which connects financial institutions to middle-income earners and informal workers to secure long-term housing finance. 

Kenya’s Nyumba Mkononi (House in the Hand), which uses blockchain technology to facilitate the purchase of construction materials in small quantities through mobile phones, has also been shortlisted for capital injection. – Xinhua