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Doing good while doing business

Bigen Africa appointed to project manage Namibian housing project

Bigen Africa, a leading infrastructure development company with a strong presence in southern Africa and a growing African footprint, has been appointed project manager on a mass housing project in Namibia.  The company is partnering with the South African division of Calgro M3 and Namibian Contractor, Afrikuumba, in a joint entity named CalkuumBA, to help realise the goals of Namibia’s National Mass Housing Development Plan.

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The Otjimuise project is implemented by the National Housing Enterprise and the City of Windhoek to help meet the dire need for adequate housing to reduce the number of people still living in shack dwellings and forms part of the Namibian Mass Housing Programme.

CalkuumBA was initially contracted to build 1 191 units in the Otjomuise township in Windhoek, but made the decision to build 2 542 units instead following a redesign. The initial estimate was based on free standing simplex houses, while the new plan will provide more housing typologies; including free-standing, multi-storey and semi-detached houses. By maximising the use of space, the team has contributed to the effectiveness of the Namibian government’s goal of delivering 185 000 houses by 2030.  The project awarded to CalkuumBA will amount to approximately NAD1 billion. This three-year project, starting in 2014, is intended to provide 2 542 units during phase one and two. Thereafter, a planned phase three is anticipated to produce 12 000 units.

LLewellyn and President

“Bigen Africa is pleased to be involved in this project as it resonates with the company’s vision of developing sustainable infrastructure that will improve the quality of life of all,” says Andre Olivier, project manager. “The company is particularly committed to uplifting communities in Africa through the provision of cost-effective infrastructure”.

As a provider of engineering, management consulting, development financing and advisory services, Bigen Africa are supporting projects delivering cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure projects in South Africa and several other African countries, including Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Angola, Nigeria and Ghana.  The company continues to expand its African footprint, seeking strategic partnerships with service providers and suppliers to address key emerging public policy priorities, which include human settlements.

“For Bigen Africa, this project is an excellent opportunity to strengthen its presence in Namibia,” says Olivier.  “It is also another welcome opportunity to put the company’s creed of ‘doing good while doing business’ into practice, which will involve channelling some of the employment and procurement opportunities to the local community.”
As construction labour is mainly recruited in Namibia, the injection of money through wages and salaries will greatly boost the local economy, depending on each household’s marginal propensity to consume.   With the development of more houses, it is likely that new business will develop in the area, thereby giving the residents an opportunity for a better future.