Housing Construction and Finance in Guinea
The emerging Guinean consumer class lacks many of the goods and services available to equivalent classes in other low income countries. Among the most dire shortages is quality affordable housing for lease and sale. Three intertwined factors have created a near 100% shortfall of for sale housing for middle income people compared to demand: lack of capital, lack of skilled developers/builders and lack of homebuyer financing. With a projected GDP growth rate of 5.0% for 2014 and average annual population growth of 3.9% in urban areas, the demand for middle income housing is expected to grow further in the coming years.
Launched in 2014, JOBOMAX subsidiary American Homebuilders of West Africa (AHWA) builds communities of 50-200 homes on largely greenfield sites throughout Guinea. The main focus is on secondary and tertiary cities with populations from 10,000 to 500,000 although we will also develop property opportunistically in Conakry (pop. 2,000,000). Secondary and tertiary cities present the best opportunities to develop middle income housing because:
- Greenfield land is more readily available and cheaper than in Conakry
- Essential infrastructure that AHWA will provide (sewer, water, power) are in demand but not well provided for by the government and existing utilities
- There is strong growth in urban middle-class populations
AHWA builds, sells and maintains the communities through a long term interest in home owners association management at each community. This generates fee income for AHWA and more importantly facilitates the maintenance of community structures such as parks, and utilities such as pumps and electrical generation. Other community services such as solid waste removal and septic tank cleaning service are developed with private partners as each community is developed. AHWA also provides home buyers with access to mortgage finance to be able to buy and move into homes that AHWA will build and sell.
Enabling Electrification With Local Biofuel
In 2011 as the newly elected government ascended to power in Guinea, JOBOMAX began implementation of a groundbreaking project in electrification and local fuel independence. Based on a multi-year study of the infrastructure, investment, transportation and power distribution challenges across the Sahel, we established a plan to roll out multiple phases and models of electric power generation for a variety of rural, urban and transitional socioeconomic settings. Using locally-produced SVO and WVO stock, proprietary filtration systems and innovative fuel management systems, we make standard diesel generators the backbone of a flexible, mobile electrification mini-grid that brings power to underserved populations. Pilot phase of the project began in Guinea in March 2011, and will expand across the region in coming years. For more detail on this project, see the project summary slides, or feel free to contact us directly.
Supporting Production and Export of Natural Shea Butter
From relative obscurity a decade ago, shea has become a leading ingredient demanded by both conventional and natural products consumers. Practically every health and beauty products retailer offers a range of shea butter products today.
Unfortunately for cosmetics consumers, the bulk of shea butter used in skin and hair care products is not a naturally produced, full-spectrum shea butter, but rather a neutral, standardized shea stearin produced by chemical industry conglomerates. This highly stable – but far from natural – product has become the convenient choice for many high-volume cosmetic formulations where shea butter is desired. However, the benefits end-users expect from the shea butter on the label are in many cases simply not delivered.
JOBOMAX sources shea butter directly from women’s cooperatives across West Africa that blend traditional, water-based extraction methods with improved sanitary and preservation technologies to create a product that retains the maximum natural healing and moisturizing properties of the shea nut, while remaining free of chemical residue often found in industrially-produced shea derivatives.