identity card

The deployment of the Nubian Vault started in 2014 in Benin around Djougou area. Nowadays, 4 local employees and a volunteer are disseminating the Nubian Vault in the northern region of Atacora-Donga.


local context

In the northern half of the country:

  • Sudano-Sahelian climate
  • Strong need for economic development (in particular for youth employment) - GDP per capita: $762 (35rd in Africa)*
  • Tradition of earth-based architecture
  • Close to Burkina Faso

* Source : Banque Mondiale / Actualix (chiffres 2015)


Territorial rollout

key data

  • 2011: first NV constructions requested by its first clients and partners
  • 2012 and 2013: exploratory missions and recruitment of a national coordinator (VSI)
  • 2014: team set up and programme opened, based in Djougou, a crossroads city in the northern region of Atacora-Donga, one of the poorest and most rural zones in the country
  • 2015 and 2016: first private and institutional projects, masons and apprentices trained, institutional partnerships


Map showing deployment of AVN's Program in Benin (August 2016)

During the season 2015-16

  • +4 pilot villages totalling 6 active sites in 1 region and a stronger on-the-ground presence
  • +6 sites bringing the number of sites with at least one NV building up to 8

analysis by sector of activity

Technical Boosted Training (F-DYN T)
In addition to the traditional on-site training ("on-the-job" training), since 2014 AVN has been further bolstering the technical training received by masons and apprentices, taught by trainer masons selected for their technical, pedagogical and interpersonal skills. on season 2015-16, 72 working sites (17%) with technical boosted training have been completed included 4 in benin.

Learn more on Technical Boosted Training

buildings constructed


During this phase in which the NV market in Benin is emerging, AVN has closely supported the eight projects carried out: estimates, logistics of foreign masons from Burkina Faso, contracts between the mason and the client, profiling and monitoring of apprentices, etc. This season, severe and very early rainfall hindered work on certain projects and the decision-making of the most recent clients.

There were no clients from the core target of rural clientele this season (except for four cement masons who benefited from the promotion intended for them), despite the interest expressed by communities. As a group that is economically fragile, these clients need to be reassured about the comfort and especially the sturdiness of the NV technique. The exemplary nature of the first model buildings built over the last two seasons and the involvement of local authorities in awareness raising should help AVN better convince this category of clients.

Significant institutional advances were made at the beginning of the 15-16 season. Elections and the resulting change in government mean that different advocacy activities are required.

Summary of NV buildings constructed, 2015–2016:

  • 63% carried out in pilot villages
  • 92% of buildings built in rural areas
  • 75% used for housing
  • 63% built for the core target clientele (farmers, shopkeepers and civil servants)
  • 75% of worksites include boosted training activities
  • 63% of worksites include kickstarting exercises and/or incentives aimed at demand and supply

training of a workforce

Synthèse 2015-16 et Cumul

In order to rapidly establish Beninese supply and to limit the dependence on Burkinabe masons (seven masons called there this season), significant work to identify cement masons and find apprentices was carried out with village authorities, leading to:

  • the mobilisation of 20 new apprentices (+122%)
  • the training of 14 cement masons and a commitment from 79 others to be trained in the coming seasons
  • a 100% qualification rate with 25 level qualifications and the first 7 apprentices (including 5 cement masons) achieving the status of "qualified NV mason"

The on-site Boosted Training and the incentives for the training of cement masons largely contributed to these results. The main objective for the coming seasons will be the qualification of the first Beninese artisan able to take charge of a worksite.

institutional development

For the last two seasons, AVN has strengthened its advocacy efforts vis-à-vis national bodies, encouraging their interest in the NV solution both as an integrated solution that supports housing policies and as a solution for rural development, vocational training and employment, economic development, environmental protection and adaptation to climate change.


  • Meetings with the Ministry for Living Environment and Sustainable Development (MCVDD), responsible for issues of housing, and with the Agence Foncière de l'Habitat and their technical partners, in order to propose the integration of adapted housing issues into Benin's strategy for low-carbon development. A partnership convention with the MCVDD is being considered
  • Presentation of AVN's programme during the Mensuel de l'Habitat housing forum organized by the Ministry for Housing in Cotonou


annual report 2015-16

annual report 2014-15