Jan 18, 2022

Why Luxury, Modern Housing is Needed to Serve Senegal’s Fast-Growing Urban Population 

As the population of Africa continues to grow exponentially, industrialized and urban cities across the continent have seen their economic activity expand at a fast-growing rate. 

According to the director of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institute, “About half of the world’s fastest-growing economies will be located on the continent” in coming years. Of those economies, the study cited, 20 will expand “at an average rate of 5% or higher over the next five years, faster than the 3.6% rate for the global economy.”

Undoubtedly, Dakar, the capital city and region of Senegal, leads this economic expansion, housing the busiest seaports in West Africa and serving as a key economic hub for trades made between Africa, Europe and North America. Propelled by the oil and gas trade, as well as the fish trade and other milling and brewing products, Dakar is projected to grow by 52% in 2025, expanding its economy nearly two-fold since 2005. 

As Dakar and cities like it expand, housing for middle-class and upper middle-class urban workers will continue to grow, requiring new and modern communities to respond to the region’s growing population demands.

Dakar’s fast-growing economy and housing needs 

With nearly half its population living in urban areas, Senegal leads the continent’s average urbanization rate of 40%. According to a recent study, Senegal’s urban population has nearly doubled in the last few decades, rising from 23% in 1960 to 43% in 2013, and is projected to reach 60% by 2030. Among the opportunities that come with this growth are the challenges that are posed to accessible housing, both to Senegal’s existing population and middle and upper-middle class urban workers who are desiring modern accommodations around the region. 

This need is most clear in the Dakar and Cape Verde regions of Senegal. Urban growth throughout the country has mostly been driven by activities in this region, led by Senegal’s capital city of Dakar. Over 65% of Senegal’s gross domestic product—the total measure of the country’s economic activity—is produced in urban centers throughout this region, with Dakar sharing in 55% of that metric. The Dakar and nearby Thiés region is home to over 50% of Senegal’s urban population with more than 80% of the country’s registered businesses concentrated in the area. Overall, Dakar produces over 50% of the country’s jobs, and over 60% of new businesses are concentrated in the capital city alone.

Such fast growth, however, has led to a significant and chronic deficit of housing and infrastructure, especially in neighboring cities across the Cape Verde peninsula, where middle and upper-middle class workers from Dakar are increasingly moving. Of those Senegal’s secondary cities—many of which are beginning to house growing urban populations from nearby hubs—only 68% of households within are connected to the country’s water network, and only 36.7% of urban households have access to basic sanitation like septic tanks. While regional cities have access to the country’s urban sewage system, many other have partial access. Most Senegalese cities, in this way, struggle with waste management. 

Many of these deficits are also accompanied by a limited capacity to plan for urban development and increased housing construction. Less than a fifth of Senegal’s cites are guided and enforced by urban plans and management, leading to inadequate regulatory frameworks for land management and new housing developments. 

Many of these stressors are routine and common deficits in emerging and industrializing urban regions. And, as Senegal continues to grow and expand, regional cities in the Cape Verde peninsula must begin to respond to housing and needs in order to contain the many workers, expatriates and newcomers desiring modern and luxury housing. 

The need for modern housing developments in Senegal aren’t just shared by the country’s existing inhabitants, but are increasingly needed among the country’s growing population of middle-class and upper-middle class inhabitants. As many more Senegalese enjoy disposable incomes, luxury housing accommodations will grow and responsible companies, like Sommet Properties, will be needed to provide for the planning, development an construction of the region’s premiere housing communities. 

Sommet Properties presents Teranga Estates, modern housing for a new Senegal

A shining example of modern and luxury housing development in Senegal is Teranga Estates, a residential development serving the Cape Verde peninsula and Dakar region. Complete with an array of luxury housing models and an inclusive community with recreational and commercial amenities, Teranga Estates represents the future of modern housing in Senegal, responding to the countries need to a house growing and diverse urban workforce.

Located near Lake Retba, Teranga Estates is positioned to welcome  homeowners throughout Dakar and the Cape Verde peninsula, aided by the country’s growing railway and transportation networks. Sommet Properties brings together over 35 years of quality building experience, design-build expertise, and general contracting across the globe to Senegal, offering modern homes and an inclusive community. 

Featuring two luxury home models built with recycled composite materials and community amenities like a mosque, gas station, commercial and retail facilities, bilingual school and community clubhouse, Teranga Estates represents a new model for environmentally sustainable and large-scale luxury development for Senegal. 

If you’re interested in living at Teranga Estates or purchasing one of our homes, please reach out to our team