How to Bridge Hostel Scarcity in 13 African Countries

How to Bridge Hostel Scarcity in 13 African Countries

As the world moves towards another decade, there are have been many projections regarding population growth and its positive and negative consequences on society. Some of the projections have largely been centred on Africa, expecting it to play key roles based on its huge young population which would be most needed from 2020.

In 2015, projections suggest that the continent has a population of 226 million aged between 15 and 24 years and expected to double by 2045. The growth has been predicted to contribute to the increase in the use of consumable and non-consumable goods, most especially student housing or hostels considering the fact that tertiary aged population growth has been exponentially in the last 5 years.

By 2020, tertiary aged population is expected to be 98.90 million. This has resulted in the emergence of new universities, both private and public. In 2017, World Bank notes that 7.2 million students enrolled in tertiary education in sub-Saharan Africa compared with less than 400,000 students recorded in 1970. According to the international body, the gross enrollment ratio (GER) for tertiary education grew at an average annual rate of 4.3 percent between 1970 and 2013.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics adds that the number of students in Africa enrolled in tertiary education has doubled from six million to more than 12 million over the last 15 years. As the enrollment grows every year, governments also increase their spending on public education, which covers expenditure on schools, universities and other public and private institutions delivering or supporting educational services.

These and the consideration of the quality of life in cities where the institutions are located, job prospects after education completion and affordability of available hostels have been shaping the supply of and demand for student housing on the continent.

Demand and Supply

Drivers for Growth

Source: UNESCO, Infoprations Analysis, 2019

By 2020, over 500,000 new purpose-built student beds will be demanded by additional students entering the market, if the sub-Saharan Africa tertiary gross enrollment ratio was to grow to 10.8%, according to JLL Africa, a commercial property and investment management services company.

To understand the demand country by country on the continent, Angola, Benin Republic, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote D’Ivoire within sub-Saharan region were selected (as the first set of countries for analysis).  Analysis reveals that some of these countries have prioritised the need to increase gross enrollment rate and education expenditure between 2012 and 2016 (the years data are available).

Botswana, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Benin Republic, Burundi, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Angola and Cote D’Ivoire were better in the area of gross enrollment rate, while Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo (Brazzaville), Comoros and Benin Republic were good in terms of expenditure on education (as percent of GDP), analysis suggests.

These countries have 46,914,829 tertiary aged population, according to 2017 estimates. From this estimate, analysis reveals that 9.1% (4,269,249) are expected to be in school between 2017 and 2019. Congo (Democratic Republic), Angola, Cote D’Ivoire, Cameroon and Burkina Faso are the most attractive countries, our analysis suggests.

Country Attractiveness Status

The Place of PPP

Despite the spending on the programmes to increase enrollment and improve public education in these countries, a huge shortfall in government funding creates opportunities for private investors to support governments in the provision of adequate hostels for the students through direct investment and public-private partnership (PPP) agreements. Investors need to move into the countries with high spending on enrollment and public education.

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