African cities’ pandemic response, challenges and lessons

Maurice is the Vice President for the Africa Area Office – Habitat for Humanity International. With over 20 years of experience as a strategic global nonprofit executive leader, Maurice has developed and led successful organizations in Africa.

For nine years, prior to joining Habitat for Humanity he served as the East Africa Regional Director for the Ford Foundation. In that role, he stewarded strategic partnerships with government, private sector, and development partners as well as other constituencies. 

Maurice also served as Director of the Institute for Law and Environmental Governance through which he fought for the interests of communities especially on natural resources governance and environmental protection. He has also worked with and served in boards of several advocacy organizations across Africa.

Contribution of the housing sector to Africa’s growing economies

Clare Akamanzi is a Rwandan lawyer, public administrator, businesswoman and politician, who has served as the executive director and chief executive officer of the Rwanda Development Board, since 4 February 2017.The position is a cabinet-level appointment by the President of Rwanda. In the cabinet resIn 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Akamanzi was one of the founding board members of the WHO Foundation.huffle of 31 August 2017, Akamanzi was retained in cabinet and she retained her portfolio.

Dr Muhammad Gambo leads the Policy, Research and Partnership unit of Shelter Afrique, a Pan African Housing Finance Institution based in Nairobi, Kenya. The position is responsible for managing the policy, research and partner relationship aspects of the organization towards providing innovative solutions to the housing and urban development challenges in Africa.

He holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master’s degree in Real Estate and Facilities Management from Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia; And a Bachelor’s degree in Quantity Surveying from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.

His research and policy interests includes affordable housing delivery, innovative financing techniques for infrastructure projects, infrastructure reform and regulation, built environment research techniques & methodology and sustainable development.

Dr. El-hadj Bah is Chief Policy Economist at the African Development Bank. In this role, his main focus is on private sector development, especially in Fragile Countries, and how the Bank can support the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises.  Prior to this position, he was Principal Research Economist in charge of evaluating the additionality and development outcomes of private sector operations. In that role, he conducted extensive research on the housing sector in Africa which resulted in the publication of the book, Housing Market Dynamics in Africa.

Before joigning the Bank,  he was Lecturer of Economics at the University of Auckland. He received his B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering with specialization in Project Management from Mohammadia School of Engineers (Rabat, Morocco). He obtained a M.S.E in Industrial Engineering and Ph.D in Economics from Arizona State University.  His research interests are in the areas of Macroeconomics, Economic Development, Labor Economics and International Economics.  He has published numerous journal articles and made several paper presentations. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of Development Economics, Macroeconomic Dynamics, Journal of Comparative Economics, B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, Comparative of Economic Studies, and Emerging Markets Finance and Trade.  

Zoravar Singh is the Managing Director of iJenga, an integrated real estate development and investment company. Zoravar also serves as a Director of the Kenya Property Developers Association where he Chairs the Affordable Housing Task Force.

Previously, Zoravar served as General Manager for Agriculture at Equity Group Foundation, CEO of Community Lab with The Earth Institute at Columbia University,  where he focused on health systems and integrated development in developing countries. Prior to that Zoravar was a real estate investment banker at Merrill Lynch in New York and he started his career as a management and technology consultant at Accenture.

Zoravar received a Bachelors of Commerce in Operations Management from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Business Administration in real estate and finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Responding to Africa’s growing housing demand pressures

Wilson is an Architect with 20 years’ experience, having started as an apprentice at Planning Systems Services Limited before joining Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where he studied Architecture and graduated with an honours degree. 

He is the President of the Architectural Association of Kenya, the largest Association of Built Environment Professionals in Kenya and the East African Community at large. 

He is currently the Managing Partner at Artcore Design Build LLP, a firm specializing in Architecture, Interior Design, Construction and Property development. 

His ambition is to impact the built environment through a combination of good design, efficient management and respect for the natural environment. 

Finally, Wilson is a sports enthusiast and has a passion for fitness and travelling. He is also an ardent golfer. He is married and has 2 daughters. 

Track 1

Promoting inclusivity in the housing sector

1.1 Addressing health challenges in urban built environments - Housing as a first defence against infectious diseases

Anne Wilson is an epidemiologist with an interest in treatment and control of malaria and other vector borne diseases, in particular through multi-sectoral approaches. Her PhD was on generation and use of evidence to support vector control programming. She was lead author on a WHO Toolkit for Integrated Vector Management in sub-Saharan Africa, a multisectoral, evidence-based and adaptive approach to control of vector borne diseases. She has managed operational research projects looking at malaria treatment and diagnosis in both Ghana and Zanzibar and has an MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries from LSHTM. She also has experience in conducting systematic reviews and meta analysis and their use in influencing policy, for example on Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention. Before starting her MSc she worked for a number of years in the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on regulatory affairs in emerging markets and clinical trial design.

Medical entomologist specializing in research of the East African Malaria mosquitoes. Plenty of experience with vector control products phase 2 and 3 evaluations, entomology surveillance, insecticide resistance, Molecular analyses, including RNAseq and bioinformatics. Development of the Kenya Insecticide Resistance Management (IRM) Plan 2019-2024 to guide the implementation of insecticide resistance management by the Kenya National Malaria Control Program

Development of the Kenya Mosquito Surveillance Guidelines 2019-2024 to support the Kenya National Malaria Control Program.

Consultant for the MENTOR Initiative on protocol development and entomological surveillance for the Evaluation of a novel household vector control kit against Aedes and Anopheles mosquitos in conflict prone areas project implemented in Wajir County, Kenya.

Estelle joined Reall in January 2021. Bilingual in English and French, she brings significant experience in public affairs, advocacy and project management for UK and global organisations including the UN. Estelle has worked on a range of global development issues including women’s rights and health, sanitation and hygiene, and climate change. Estelle also has a Masters in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies/University of Sussex.


Gladys Mwende joined SHOFCO in April 2021 as Chief Programs Officer. Mwende is responsible for leading program implementation and works closely with SHOFCO programs staff to achieve SHOFCO’s strategy and deliverables. Mwende holds a Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Peace Studies (Conflict Resolution & International Politics & Security Studies) from the University of Bradford, UK (2003). She holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Development Management from Open University, UK (1999).

Mwende holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies from Kimmage Manor Development Centre, Dublin, Ireland (1992). She is a winner of the Dr. Arthur Clark Peace Fellowship award, Calgary University, Canada (2009- 2010).  Mwende has extensive experience in program management, and recently returned to Kenya where she has served as a Country Director for three different international NGOs. Mwende has a proven record in developing and delivering high-quality programs and leading highly motivated multi-disciplinary teams of staff and consultants.

Mugure has over 15 years of experience in the East African Real Estate industry and is a natural leader, and well-recognized name in the professional industry. She is a people person with high level communication and management skills, developed both in private practice and as a Leader in the regulatory and professional bodies governing her peers. She started her career in Boston, Massachusetts, 

Kennedy Odede is one of Africa’s best-known community organizers and social entrepreneurs. Kennedy grew up in Kenya’s Kibera slum, the largest slum in Africa, where he experienced the devastating realities of life in extreme poverty first hand. At age ten he became a street child.
Still, he dreamed about changing his community. In 2004, he had a job in a factory earning $1 for ten hours of work. He saved 20 cents and used this to buy a soccer ball and start Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO).

Driven by the entrepreneurial spirit of the people of Kibera, SHOFCO became the largest grassroots organization in the slum. Today, SHOFCO impacts over 2.4 million slum dwellers across 24 urban slums in Kenya. SHOFCO is on the front lines of COVID-19 response in Kenya’s urban settlements, delivering health care, WASH, food relief, and economic stability at
scale. In 2018, SHOFCO became the youngest-ever organization to receive the Conrad N.
Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the world’s largest humanitarian prize awarded to nonprofits that
have made extraordinary contributions to alleviate human suffering. In 2021, SHOFCO was
awarded the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour, one of the world’s most prestigious prizes presented
to those working on sustainable urbanisation.

Seeta brings over 25 years of international real estate experience focusing on affordable housing investment, policy and research. Her practical experience in the field allows her to facilitate engagement between government, private sector, DFIs, NGOs and the wider public, to improve the enabling environment for affordable housing.

Seeta has an MBA from The Wharton School and a BA from the University of Cambridge, and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Institution of Surveyors of Kenya. She serves voluntarily on the Board of Friends of City Park.

Femi Adewole is a housing finance professional with over 25 years experience leading housing initiatives across Sub Sahara Africa and the United Kingdom. Before his appointment as the Managing Director of Family Homes Funds, he was Managing Director of Shelter Afrique, the Nairobi-based pan-African housing company. He has served in various capacities in some of the largest housing companies around the globe such as First World Communities Ltd, Watford Community Housing Trust, Notting Hill Housing Group, and Lagos HABITAT 2011 Project amongst others. Mr Adewole is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School and Warwick Business School. He is a chartered architect as well as a planning and development professional with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Mr Femi Adewole MD/ CEO, Family Homes Funds Ltd.

General Manager – The National Association of Social Housing Organisations

Property Development and Investments Executive – Johannesburg Housing Company

Revenue Manager – Johannesburg Housing Company

Managing Director – Jozilet
Independent Consultant – Jse

Product Specialist: Interest Rate Market – Jse

Kecia Rust is the Executive Director and founder of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF), and leads the Secretariat of the African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF), an industry body representing over 50 lenders, investors, developers and other housing practitioners operating in Africa. She is a housing policy specialist and has worked with both public and private sector practitioners in promoting access to affordable housing and housing finance in Africa for the past 20 years. Over the span of her career, Kecia has consulted and undertaken research in affordable housing finance, residential property assets and property markets, rental and social housing, and the creation of sustainable human settlements, among other issues. Her current focus is on driving the Data Agenda for housing in Africa, promoting market information and data as fundamental market infrastructure.  She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

2.1 Meeting the emerging and growing housing needs of youth

Mtamu is an impact design enthusiast passionate about a more equitable and just Africa. He is a firm believer in the potential and power of design processes and products to promote economic stimuli.

He is a Co-Founder and CEO of MycoTile that offers advanced building materials; locally manufactured using readily available agricultural waste and rapidly growing mushroom mycelium as bonding agent.

He is an alumnus of the African Design Centre in Kigali, a fellowship program by MASS Design Group and currently doubles as a Consulting Architect and Researcher at Cave_bureau in Nairobi.

He is a graduate of the university of Nairobi and a licenced architect in Kenya.

His social media handles are:





3.1 Empowering women through land and housing rights

Cissy joined Buganda Land Board in 2015 as a Project Coordinator where she led the Mass Registration Project and thereafter the Lease Access Financing Initiative, a program designed to make credit available to the low-income communities for acquiring land titles.

She was the General Manager of Buganda Land Development Cooperative Financial Services, a microfinance within the Buganda Kingdom intended to enable transformation of lives of the poor and vulnerable. She also worked with the Ministry of Tourism as a Resource Mobiliser for projects empowering young girls.

Cissy is passionate about women’s rights, social and community development, and has embedded that passion in all her roles. She has been trained by UN-ARII 2019 and African Women in Leadership Institute. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in Social Anthropology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Management.

A Gender and Development Expert with over 20 years experience.

She has just (May 2020) joined the International Land Coalition (ILC) as the Global leader for the Women land Rights Portfolio.  Esther is passionate about the empowerment of women living in poverty and margins of development to exercise and claim their human rights. To her, Secure Land Tenure and control of valuable assets including natural resources is an important gateway for development world to achieve gender and economic justice, end violence against women and girls, lay important building blocks to achieve sustainable development including towards halting negative impacts of climate change & recurrent disasters and,  give women voice and agency.

Esther is a Founder and immediate former National Coordinator of GROOTS Kenya (Grassroots Organizations Operating Together in Sisterhood), a grassroots women movement of more than 3000 self-help groups from rural and urban communities living in poverty across Kenya. 

4.1 Building and repurposing climate-resilient housing for the most vulnerable

Track 2

Supporting affordable housing

A leading, internationally recognized community development expert with over 20 years of global development and research accomplishments. With extensive experience working in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Middle East and Europe, Dr, John Akudago is the Director of International Shelter Initiatives for Habitat for Humanity International. John directs global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs across the Habitat network. Prior to joining Habitat in 2018, John worked in the humanitarian sector for World Vision Ghana, Samaritan’s Purse, Pacific Institute, and the government of Ghana. John has also responded to many disasters including the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Japan (Sendai) nuclear and Tsunami disasters, Haiti earthquake and cholera response, Typhoon Hayan, refugee crisis in South Sudan, Sudan and Niger. In addition to the community development expertise, he has published widely and is a technical reviewer for many international high impact environmental journals. John’s work around the globe has impacted millions of lives especially in developing countries.

Ms Farida Karoney was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical planning in February 2018. She is the Ministry’s chief executive on policy formulation and management matters.

Prior to her appointment, she was the Chief Operating Officer of Royal Media Services, a media conglomerate comprising over ten radio and television stations. She had also served as the Group Editorial Director

She holds a Master of Business Administration (Strategic Management) and a Post-graduate Diploma in Mass Communications from the University of Nairobi. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education Science (Education, Botany and Zoology) from Kenyatta University.


Judith Nalule Nabakooba is a Ugandan politician and former police Spokesperson. Nabakooba is currently the Minister of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), in the Cabinet of Uganda.

She was appointed to that position on 14 December 2019 and concurrently serves as the elected Woman Member of Parliament, representing Mityana District in the 10th parliament 2016-2021.

He works as a Programme Management Officer at the Land, Housing and Shelter Section of UN-Habitat. He is the lead and coordinator of the various country operations and tools development of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) Programme. For more than 12 years, he has worked with UN-Habitat on various global, regional and country interventions including on supervising specific projects, land tools development (e.g. Social Tenure Domain Model, participatory enumerations, land use planning, pro-poor land recordation, etc.), network coordination, capacity development, knowledge management and awareness building.

He is a land surveyor by training and completed a Master’s Programme on Land Tenure and Land Management at the Technical University of Munich, Germany with “High Distinction”. Before joining UN-Habitat, he held senior positions with the Government of the Philippines in large-scale land governance programmes, including with the World Bank and AusAID assisted Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).

Justus Wambayi joins Cadasta as a Program Specialist. Justus will provide support to Cadasta partners in East Africa in the documentation of land rights using Cadasta technology and approaches. Prior to joining Cadasta, Justus worked with governments, multinationals, and civil societies in Kenya and South Sudan to secure land rights for pastoral communities, women, and youth. Justus holds a BSc in Land Administration from the Technical University of Kenya and loves to spend his free time listening to good music and traveling.

Mathabo Makuta is currently the National Director for Habitat for Humanity Zambia since 1st October 2019 and responsible for overall oversight and management of Habitat Zambia operations and programmes on daily basis as well as providing strategic direction for the organization.

She is a Chartered City and Regional Planner by profession with a Master of Science Degree in City and Regional Planning obtained in 1999 at the University of Wales, Cardiff in the UK.  She is an officially registered and certified Member of Zambia Institute of Planners and Royal Town Planning Institute (UK).

Between January 2019 and September 2019 she worked as Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Regional Program Management Consultant and provided programmes supervision for Habitat for Humanity Lesotho and Cote d’Ivoire. From December 2011 until December 2018 she worked as the National Director for Habitat for Humanity Lesotho.  She also served on Habitat for Humanity Lesotho Board of Directors between the years 2001 and 2008 and Lesotho Electricity Company between 2002 and 2008.

In the past, she worked as a Physical Planner in the Department of Lands, Surveys and Physical Planning in the Ministry of Local Government between 1994 and 1999. In 2000 as a Housing Economist in the Department of Housing and Urban Development until June 2005. In July 2005, she joined the United Nations as UN-HABITAT Programme Manager for Lesotho.  She is therefore highly skilled with over 30-years of experience working on issues of land, housing, spatial planning & urban development, community developments, partnerships mobilization and projects management.

1.2 Housing finance and subsidies for pandemic response and recovery

2.2 Slum upgrading – access to basic services

3.2 Financing incremental construction (construction costs, financing ODC, rental)

Track 3

Leveraging multi sector collaboration to achieve affordable housing

Human Rights and Gender Expert. Areas of expertise Policy, Campaigns, Advocacy, writing, program management. Experience in continental policy and advocacy with the African Union, Regional Continetal Bodies and INGO.

Emma Miloyo is a practicing Architect and Co-Founder at Design Source with vastexperience in the building industry in the East and Central Africa region. She was thefirst female President of the Architectural Association of Kenya (2017-2019) and wasrecognised as one of “Top 40 under 40 Women” in Kenya in 2011 and in 2018 by theNation Media Group’s Business Daily.

Emma is an Eisenhower Fellow (2015).Herlifelong ambition is to inspire young women and help them break the glass ceiling thathas limited their success, especially in male-dominated fields like architecture. She is aDirector at Kiota School where her passion for education and nurturing of youngminds extends.Emma graduated from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture andTechnology (JKUAT) with first-class honours in architecture, the first woman to do so.She is passionate about the built environment and is also very enthusiastic aboutpreserving Kenya’s architectural heritage. Emma has participated as a jury memberon various architectural competitions including, East Africa Property Awards,Headquarters for the MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS AND DENTISTS’ BOARD and is behindthe revival of the AAK Awards of Excellence in Architecture.

Alfredo Brillembourg was born in New York and is an architect. He is the founder of Urban–Think Tank Group and is also the founder of Gran Horizonte Media, producing documentaries screened at festivals, galleries, and museums and broadcast in the US and Europe. He has over 30 years of building architecture and urban design projects around the globe. He received both his Bachelor of Art and Architecture in 1984, and his Master of Science in Architectural Design in 1986 from Columbia University. He is a member of the the Swiss SIA, and the Norwegian NAL architect’s association.

From 2007-2010, Brillembourg, was professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (S.L.U.M. Lab). From 2010–2019, he held the Chair of Architecture and Urban Design at ETH Zurich and received the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award, 2011 Gold Holcim Award for Latin America, 2012 Silver Holcim Global Award for innovation in social design, and the 2012 Venice Biennial of Architecture Golden Lion.

Between 2019–2020 he was guest professor at the IOA Institute of Architecture at The University of Applied Arts Vienna and in 2021 Brillembourg became a visiting scholar at the GRIP Institute, University of Bergen, where he has founded the academic journal Parangolè about the urbanising planet.

Rashiq Fataar is an urbanist and the CEO of Our Future Cities (OFC) – an urbanism consultancy, think tank and platform based in Cape Town, South Africa. For over a decade Fataar has advised and worked collaboratively with government, business and communities on projects to shape better cities of tomorrow. Worked in an trans-disciplinary way, Fataar and his team have worked in various cities and contexts with some of the most progressive and ambitious organisations and people.

C. Responding to Africa’s growing housing demand pressures

1.3 Governance mechanisms for resilient future cities (data + decision making)

3.3 Financing women for housing

4.3 Leveraging Inclusive Partnership to deliver Affordable Housing at Scale (ST)

Track 4

Building sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)

Florence is a registered architect practicing in Kenya as a partner in EcoSpace Architects. She is also a member of faculty at the Department of Architecture and Building Science where she teaches as a Tutorial Fellow while pursuing her Master of Architecture in Environmental Design and Sustainability at the University of Nairobi. Florence keeps up-to-date with current activities in the profession and is currently serving as the Vice Chairperson of the Architects Chapter at the Architectural Association of Kenya where she is charge of the Chapter events and advocacy as well as editorial team of The Architect Magazine, the only publication by any chapter within the Association. She sits on the Council for Young Architects in the International Union of Architects and will be representing the East African region in Seoul, South Korea for the tri-annual UIA Congress in September 2017. She has received numerous academic awards and participated in several architectural competitions and exhibitions. She has a passion for environmental sustainability in architecture and has worked with notable architects.

Architect with a business degree and a passion for innovation. Experienced manager throughout the value chain in the international construction industry, ranging from start-ups to listed companies.

Sweet spot: Strategy | Commerce & business Development | Organisation

In his current role, he help companies, organisations and (local) governments to kick-start innovation in the built environment by combining a multidisciplinary application driven approach with in-depth scientific knowledge.

Prof. Peter M. Ngau is a consulting urban planner and associate researcher with the Centre for Urban Research and Innovations (CURI), University of Nairobi. He is a retired Associate Professor, from the University of Nairobi, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, He holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), M.A (Geography, UON) and B.Ed. (First Class Honors, UON). He has over thirty years of university teaching and research experience.  He served as National Expert, United Nations Center for Regional Planning (UNCRD) – Africa Office (1995-2001). He was the Chairman of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (2002- 2008), and the Principal of the College of Architecture & Engineering (CAE) (2015-2020), University of Nairobi.

Prof. Ngau’s publications include The Production of Space and Place in informal Settlements, Nairobi Habitat Review, 2019 (with Zeltia Blanco); Community Fire Response in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements, Environment and Urbanization, 2020 (with Sharon Boit);  Research Design, Data Collection, and Analysis, Textbook, UNCRD, 2004; University/City Partnerships: Creating Policy Networks for Urban Transformation in Nairobi, Metropolitan Universities, 2011 (with Jackie Klopp, Elliot Sclar, 2011); Challenges in Urban and Peri-Urban Land Governance in Nairobi: Dynamics, Tactics and Issues, a World Bank (with Jackie Klopp, Jeremiah Ayonga and Rose Musyoka (2011). He is the former Managing Editor, Regional Development Studies Journal (RDS), UNCRD 2005-2012).

D. Climate change and housing impact

1.4 Vulnerable social economic groups – disability, elderly, minorities (Housing options to address the needs of these group)

2.4 Land regularization experiences

3.4 Living into national housing policies

4.4 Supporting holistic urban planning and access to land/ Land value capture mechanisms