Within the continent, West Africa is one of the most dynamic regions, while being stricken with complex and dire phenomena. The subregion hosts 30% of the total African population, a number that is forecasted to double by 2040. This population growth will be absorbed by cities that are currently unable to respond to the expected multiplication of related urban demands. Indeed, a large part of West Africa – the Sahel region – has been the stage of ongoing, complex, and dire conflicts, that not only have been affecting the political, demographic and socio-economic landscape of the impacted and surrounding countries, but also revealed and exacerbated the hardships faced by secondary cities in the area to absorb the resulting shocks and sudden stress.

This proximity among West African countries is reflected in their shared history, close cultures and practices, but also in the challenges they face. Most of the 16 west African countries were influenced by the French model, which led them to adopt a macrocephalic urban development, favoriting the growth of one main city. This over concentration of populations, the economy and investment in the largest cities combined with the lack of decentralization of technical, financial and human resources curbs the capacity of municipalities to carry out their mission. In these countries, actors intervene in the different sectors of urbanization (housing, social services, policies, etc.) in silo, which hinders the promotion and progress of sustainable, affordable and informed urbanization.

The common challenges observed in West African countries particularly affect access to housing, the management of the effects of climate changes and the access of the urbanization actors to adequate and accurate information to pursue their work. Indeed, the high poverty rates, preeminence of informality in the economies and lack of adaptation of housing finance products to the situation of the bottom forty (B40) households hinder the ability of the housing sector to participate efficiently in the national economy. The west African countries are part of the most afflicted by the effects of climate changes. However, these rapidly growing societies struggle the mitigate these effects and to build their resilience to the raise of temperatures, the recrudescence of flooding episodes, coastal erosion and greenhouse gas. Finally, the lack of accessible, transparent, accurate and up-to-date data on the different components of urbanization obstruct the ability of decision makers and technical and financial partners to design initiatives that respond adequately to the needs of the population. These issues need a trans-boundary approach to identify bespoke and efficient solutions.

The Center of Excellence on Housing (CEH) was created to address these challenges and promote sustainable and well-informed urban housing development in West Africa. UN-Habitat, together with the University Joseph Ki-Zerbo (ISSP), in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and the University Cheik Anta Diop (ESEA), in Dakar, Senegal, are supporting this initiative. UN-Habitat is looking for an Implementing Partner to support the sustainability of this initiative, providing technical expertise on housing and capacity building, as well as developing tailored tools and mobilize regional partners.

Main activities to be carried out during the Assignment

Under the general supervision of UN-Habitat’s Portfolio Manager for West Africa, the selected Implementing Partner will be responsible for the achievement of the following tasks and the development, writing and editing of the corresponding deliverables listed below:

- Provide technical expertise on housing, sustainability and capacity building, to support the implementation of the CEH activities at the regional level;

- Disseminate UN-Habitat’s tools, findings and projects at a regional level and contribute to the development of National Housing Reports;

- Contribute to the dissemination of best practices and knowledge between francophone and anglophone countries;

- Elaborate and organize trainings to build the capacities of decision makers, technical agents, and other stakeholders participating in the housing, environmental and knowledge sectors of the WAEMU countries;

- Mobilize the stakeholders of the housing, environmental and knowledge building, with a focus on private and finance actors to support urbanization in west Africa, within the context of the WAEMU countries; and

  • Any other activity concurring to the promotion of a sustainable and well-informed urban affordable housing development.

Overall timeframe 

The work outlined in this EOI is scheduled to commence by 1 June 2024 and completed by 31 December 2024.

Submission requirements and contact information:

Expression of Interest must be delivered by email no later than 17 May 2024 to with the reference “EOI-CEH-2024” in the subject of your email.


Please note that this EOI notice does not constitute a solicitation. UN-Habitat reserves the right to change or cancel this requirement at any time in the Expressions of Interest/or solicitation process. Submitting a reply to an EOI does not guarantee that a Cooperation Partner will be considered for receipt of the solicitation when issued and only Cooperation Partners who are deemed qualified by UN-Habitat upon completion of evaluation of submission, will receive the final solicitation document.

Call for EoI-IP UN-Habitat CEH