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Reform on Real Estate Development in Burkina: Employees Fear for Their Jobs

The Burkinabè government has, for several months, launched a process of land reforms and real estate development which has raised concerns among many players in the sector, including the National Union of Real Estate and Related Workers. (SYNTIA), which states that this reform envisaged by the government exposes 33,327 direct workers and 43,300 indirect workers.



This Saturday, May 13th, 2023, at the Ouagadougou Labor Exchange, the union sounded the mobilization of its members with a meeting, the main objective of which is, according to its leaders, to bring together the concerns of employees with a view to of an upcoming meeting with the Transitional Legislative Assembly (ALT).

Since January 2022, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning in Burkina has undertaken a real estate development reform project, explained the first head of the National Union of Real Estate and Related Workers (SYNTIA), Félix Lankoandé. “We regret that in all stages, the ministry did not involve us in the process, while out of 275 real estate companies, the number of direct workers is 33,327 and 43,300, indirect workers. It is regrettable that in a sector where there are so many people, certain players are involved and the workers are forgotten. It’s not inclusive enough,” said the workers’ spokesperson.

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Since January 2022, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning has undertaken a real estate development reform project

“Fortunately, and this is an opportunity for us to congratulate the members of the ALT (Transitional Legislative Assembly), through the president, Dr Bougouma (Ousmane), we received an invitation letter within the framework exchanges with the workers of the sector,” he then greets, thus justifying the holding of the meeting which aims to collect all the concerns of the workers for this meeting with the legislator.

According to Félix Lankoandé, it is a question of collecting all the concerns in relation to this will of the government to reform the sector of real estate companies, to make an inventory of the difficulties that workers in companies are going through. “There are serious threats to the survival of our jobs. In reality, the bill, if it passes as it stands, a lot of companies will close. And who says company says, boss and employees. It is therefore in the interest of the workers to attract the attention of the authorities. Admittedly, it is a bill, so it comes from the government, but it is the members who will decide. We believe that they must remember that behind the bill there are jobs at stake and the law as a tool for development must take into account the preservation of workers’ gains.

The liabilities are made up of all the files filed by real estate development companies, from 2016 until today, which are lying around

“Our main concern at present is to say that the urgency is not the reform of Law 057 on property development in Burkina Faso; the urgency lies elsewhere. The deputies, in their mission to control government action, we humbly invite them to carry out a parliamentary inquiry, precisely at the level of the Ministry of Urbanism, on the inventory of fixtures of the treatment of the files deposited by the real estate companies; because that is where the problem is, the problem is not in the application of the law. And even if it was in the application of the law, it is at the ministry and not at the level of the promoters. And that’s why we talk about passive.”

The liabilities are made up of all the files filed by real estate development companies, from 2016 until today, which are lying around. How recognized and approved companies introduce files that must be processed in a month, but from 2016 to today… how many months are we at? And you want to reform the law! What do you do with the files that are piled up in the ministry? Therefore, the urgency is at this level, and only an investigation can sufficiently enlighten the deputies so that they are able to see what are the priorities to take into account in the adoption of the law, to improve the procedures ( if deadlines are a problem, you have to review them) and also see behind each real estate company, what is wrong and alongside the survival of jobs.”

To illustrate the relevance of their approach, the trade union official reminds the authorities that “the unemployment rate in Burkina Faso is high, the last general census of the populations of 2022 speaks of 7.1% of the active population being unemployed.”In his opinion, this is one more reason not to put unemployed people in a sector of activity, and in a country where recruitment is not easy.


(Featured image by analogicus via Pixabay)

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Suzanne Mitchell juggles the busy life of a full-time mom and entrepreneur while also being a writer-at-large for several business publications. Her work mostly covers the financial sector, including traditional and alternative investing. She shares reports and analyses on the real estate, fintech and cryptocurrency markets. She also likes to write about the health and biotech industry, in particular its intersection with clean water and cannabis. It is one of her goals to always share things of interest to women who want to make their mark in the world.

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