Interview: Claude Isaac Dé
What measures are being taken to streamline land title acquisition procedures in Côte d’Ivoire?
CLAUDE ISAAC DÉ: Over the past decade, the acquisition of land titles has been the most significant challenge to the real estate sector and has been amplified by exponential economic and demographic growth.
Currently, we are working to streamline the land title creation process through its dematerialisation and simplification: we must improve the processing and circulation of files. Smaller initiatives have already been put in motion, such as the single-window for construction permits and the implementation of information systems, while larger structural regulations are being reformulated such as the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee to regulate activities across the land value chain in order to clarify the relationship between the administration and the Tax Directorate.
How is Côte d’Ivoire increasing access to sanitation within urban and rural areas?
ISAAC DE: In order to increase access to sanitation within urban and rural dwellings, Côte d’Ivoire adopted a sectoral policy in 2016. This document aims to ensure a healthy environment for all. In this context, accelerated support for sustainable access to UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme d’Appui à l’Accélération de l’Accès Durable à l’Eau, à l’Hygiène et à l’Assainissement (Programme to Support the Acceleration of Sustainable Access to Water, Hygiene and Sanitation) is being deployed while institutional support to the Programme d’Hydraulique et d’Assainissement pour le Millénaire (Programme of Hydraulics and Sanitation for the Millennium) is taking place in eight additional regions throughout Côte d’Ivoire.
These two programmes have allowed us to bring 2327 villages within reach of ending open-air defecation and has improved toilet access in 132 schools and 22 healthcare facilities. The health of approximately 600,000 people has been improved in just over one year. Other programmes and studies are ongoing to ensure that between 2016 and 2030 access to urban and rural sanitation is increased from 33% to 75%.
What initiatives are being put in place to reinvigorate the presidential housing project?
ISAAC DE: Matters related to housing remain one of the government’s top priorities. Initially the presidential housing project faced several challenges, most notably land title acquisition. In an effort to revitalise the project, we have instituted stronger technical controls and adopted stronger contractual specifications and stricter accreditation for all participants, all while relaxing conditions for access to fiscal incentives.
As we move forward, we are integrating our approach to urban planning and design to ensure inhabitants of all communities are provided with basic needs. We are putting tools and mechanisms in place to ensure the stable financing of the sector. We are working with state companies and financial service providers to ensure that we are all playing our respective roles in ensuring the health of the housing sector.
Ultimately, we believe the current housing deficit has a silver lining: it will allow us to make use of economies of scale while we utilise new technologies across the construction value chain, which may in turn lower costs.
In what other ways is the government looking to respond to the urban housing deficit?
ISAAC DE: Given the fact that over 50% of urban households are living on CFA170,000 (€255) per month or that around 80% are living under the monthly CFA300,000 (€450) threshold, we must ask how to go about housing the majority of the population. Currently we are responding to this by establishing roles to be played by the government, financial service providers, developers, pension funds, and local and foreign investors. In so doing, we hope to provide methods and mechanisms by which to respond to the housing deficit.
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