Granting small loans to help low-income earners in Africa’s rapidly growing cities build their own homes could help solve a looming housing crisis, experts said on Thursday. About 40% of Africa’s one billion people already live in towns and cities, and the World Bank predicts the urban population will double over the next 25 years, putting huge pressure on housing. Most of the new homes being built target the middle and upper classes, and experts say a lack of financing makes it hard for lower-income earners to buy or build homes, forcing them into illegal slums or other informal housing. "It could take up to two generations for people to build their home incrementally if they don’t have financing," said Sandra Prieto, global director of operations at home-building charity Habitat for Humanity. Small loans with short repayment terms make it possible for people to complete the process more quickly, she said on the sidelines of a housing conference in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, this w...

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