Creating a Slum Upgrading Financing Plan in Kenya

  • City: Kibera
  • Client: Rockefeller Foundation
  • Country: Rockefeller Foundation
  • Date: 2005

At Rockefeller's successful 2005 Bellagio Housing Symposium, the then-minister of Lands and Housing, Amos Kimunya, presented the challenge of upgrading the housing in Kibera, Africa's largest slum, in south-western Nairobi. Symposium participants, facilitated by David Smith, explored a proposed financing and ownership structure to enable the Government of Kenya to access the capital markets for project-financing, with collateral to be provided by additional 'crown land' and ownership of the homes to be in small-unit co-operatives. The plan was well-received but only sketched, and in this follow-up assignment, AHI visited Kenya and Kibera, interviewed all relevant stakeholders, further articulated the investment concept, built a financial model, and analysed resource requirements and financing gap. The resulting report was delivered to Minister Kimunya, who then tabled legislation proposing to implement it, but the election violence and constitutional crisis that happened shortly thereafter suspended the project.