Towards African solutions: Stephane Affro Managing Director of Kaydan.

Position:Communique - Interview

The Kaydan group operates throughout the sub-region with the innovative concept of offering complete solutions, from construction to financing. Interview with Managing Director Stephane Affro.

Kaydan markets itself as an "integrated" group. What is special about this approach?

Our main goal is to give our clients the right solutions for their specific needs. Using our range of on-demand services--including consulting, architectural design, building engineering, financial, legal and tax structuring, financing, construction and marketing --the client can pick and choose exactly what they need. We're delighted to see that clients have bought into our approach.

You once specialised in high-end real estate. Did you predict the growth of the middle class?

Our adventure began in the high-end niche of the market--Cocody-Ambassades, Cocody Danga, Assinie, and so on--with very demanding clients. However, demand in the Cote d'Ivoire real estate market is stronger in the social, low-end and mid-range sectors. In recent years we started diversifying to better serve market needs. Now we offer products to the emerging middle class, such as the Symphonia Programme with 114 villas in Riviera Ephrata, and the Callisto Programme, with 440 villas by the new Grand-Bassam motorway. We are looking to provide solutions for other social classes in the near future.

How do you go about construction? Have you been able to work an Ivorian touch into the architecture, for example in the materials you use?

Our approach is very open. We adapt to the client's needs by combining tradition with modern ideas. As for construction, the country has developed a local industry in certain trades, such as structural work and technical trades. However, we are still importing quite a lot of architectural expertise. It would make sense if there was a national industrial strategy to reduce our dependence on nondomestic experts.

Like other countries in Africa, Cote d'Ivoire has a significant housing shortfall. How can we build more, faster and better?

You're right to observe the shortfall, and it's growing each year. The only way we can confront this problem is with innovative solutions tailored to the situation. We believe that our development approach comes into A play here. We coordinate the work of a range of actors in the real estate value chain in one overall project in order to complete the whole task as well as possible, from design to financing, construction and marketing. A...

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