Here in Ethiopia, the housing sector is characterized by significant deficits, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The country displays one of the highest levels of urban population living in informal settlements (slum areas) in sub-Saharan Africa. For the past 17 years, the government exerted unstinted efforts to alleviate this critical housing problem through the Integrated Housing Development Program (IHDP). However, the government’s housing program could not be able to meet the needs of citizens, as the demand for new housing far exceeds the pace of supply, with annual projected demand of 400,000, in addition to replacement housing. For instance, the nationwide backlog of residential quarters is over 1.2 million houses in the year 2019, and this gap has been widening at an alarming rate due to continuous need of more than 100,000 houses in the capital city (Addis Ababa) alone.
Therefore, with a view to assist integrated effort of resolving housing problem in the country, establishment of Goh Betoch Bank was initiated by 11 visionary individuals who have rich experience in a number of disciplines such as banking, law, economics, engineering, among others. The Bank (The first private mortgage bank), was established with an initial capital of Birr one billion and received its banking business license from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) in August 2021. Following that, the Bank opened its doors to the public and embarked upon operation on 25 October 2021.
Goh Betoch Bank is entering into the financial market at a time when mortgages comprise no or only a small percentage of Ethiopia’s market. This is because a mortgage remains a rare and frightening prospect for most families here in the country, even for many well to do ones, owing to the long-term financial repercussions it poses on households. Hence, Goh will serve as an alternative source of finance for housing scheme.