Burkina Faso


identity card

Historic country of AVN's programme, the deployment of the Nubian Vault started in 1998 in Burkina Faso around Boromo area. Nowadays, 28 local employees and 2 volunteers are disseminating the Nubian Vault on 5 regions : Koubri, Sabou, Yako, Dédougou et Bama.

One of the first NV built in Boromo (1999)

NV church in "Petit Balé"

local context

  • Sudano-Sahelian climate
  • A mainly rural population (farmers)
  • Culturally diverse (languages, ethnicities, religions)
  • Community support
  • A strong need for economic development, especially in rural areas - GDP per capita: $589 (39th in Africa)*
  • Earth-based architecture widespread
  • First country AVN operated in:  
  • R&D and standardization of the NV concept, first national and regional branches, first collaboration with civil society (FGs, CBOs), creation and testing of the kickstart and densification methods
  • Largest number of NV buildings (61% of those constructed)
  • Largest number of artisans and trainer masons, enabling other programmes to open

* Source: World Bank / Actualitix (figures from 2015)


Territorial rollout

key data

  • 1998-2000: technical work and construction of the first standard NVs
  • 2000-2006: first NV buildings built for private clients, training of the first generations of NV masons
  • 2007: first local AVN team
  • 2011-2013: regional expansion to Koubri, Dédougou, Yako and Bama
  • 2013-2016: pilot projects on NV housing loans with 2 MFIs and on resettlement disaster-stricken populations with TNB
  • 2014-2016: first cooperative partnerships established with farmers' groups
  • 2015-2016: establishment and test of methodologies to strengthen training (Boosted Training)


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

During the season 2015-16

  • +6% with 81 active pilot villages in 5 regions
  • +75 sites bringing the number of sites with at least one NV building up to 460
  • Regional branch moved from Boromo to Sabou
  • Preparatory activities carried out for expansion to 2 new regions by 2018 (Bagré and Fada N'gourma)


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 35 in Burkina Faso.

Learn more on Technical Boosted Training


Entrepreneurial Boosted Training (F-DYN E)
Alongside support for technical training, AVN develops ways to strengthen entrepreneurial skills in order to boost their activities and their economic integration into the informal and formal construction markets.
in 2016, 14 burkinabè nv masons were selected to receive Entrepreneurial Boosted Training.

Learn more on entrepreneurial boosted training


AVN, seeking solutions that would eliminate the traditional stumbling blocks to access to housing, is proposing a new microcredit product for adapted housing. In Burkina Faso, two pilot projects are underway:

  • in Dédougou, with the Association for the Promotion of Inclusive Finance (APFI)—since 2013, 12 NVs built
  • in Yako, with the Credit and Savings Baoré Tradition Union (UBTEC) and the AKNGS farmers' group—2 buildings built since 2014

Learn more on NV housing microcredit


Donation and resettlement
Since 2011, AVN implemented a ressetlement pilot project in Nebba area, managed by our partner TNB and financed by SELAVIP. This project allowed the construction of 90 houses for disaster-stricken populations. Even if AVN doesn't donate houses, ressetlement projects allow to accelerate the training of masons.


technical expertise
  In Burkina Faso, Research & Development activitiés have been implemented to meet the need of the NV market. AVN has created a comprehensive technical body of knowledge on the NV concept (professional NV rules, technical studies and records, document templates, etc.).

Learn more on technical expertise

Buildings Constructed


Training centre for AVN's partner, AKNGS

During the 2014–2015 season, the complex political situation in Burkina Faso significantly disturbed the economy and therefore had an impact on demand for NVs. Despite the country's fragility at the beginning of this season and despite the electoral campaigns, the NV market grew once again, by 29%, in terms of the number of projects, with smaller growth in the surface area constructed (13%); these buildings were small in size given the predominance of rural clientele and the still weak economy.

Annual production nearly returned to what it was before the socio-political crisis, and this season allowed AVN to consolidate an environment that will be favourable to accelerated demand in the coming seasons:

  • the momentum in the Bama and Dédougou regions
  • partnerships that are being established or firmly rooted in the regions of Koubri and Yako
  • the stimulation of the NV housing microloan pilot projects facilitating access to housing for as many people as possible in the Yako and Dédougou regions
  • preparations for large-scale community projects (farm storage and health care buildings, in particular)
  • international advocacy in preparation of the work to be carried out with national institutions undergoing reorganization


Summary of NV buildings constructed, 2015–2016:

  • 78% carried out in pilot villages
  • 92% of buildings built in rural areas
  • 89% used for housing
  • 85% built for the core target clientele (farmers, shopkeepers and civil servants)
  • 10% carried out with partner involvement (mainly the resettlement project)
  • 17% of worksites include boosted training activities
  • 53% of worksites include kickstarting exercises and/or incentives aimed at demand and supply

Training of a Workforce

Measures to strengthen the NV training offer, which has increased since 2014–2015 and which was first drawn up and tried out in Burkina Faso, have born their first fruit this season, as regards:

  • the mobilization of masons: +18% of those working (in particular apprentices and masons) and 150 new apprentices
  • their qualifications: +60% of apprentices and masons have passed their level qualifications and the number qualifying as artisans has doubled

This pool of masons and apprentices who are newly active or qualified should, thanks to the monitoring of their training, strengthen the capacity of Burkinabe supply within a few seasons.
This is even more essential given that a significant proportion of Burkinabe trainer masons and artisans is actually mobilized outside of Burkina Faso, to meet the construction needs in countries that do not  yet have enough masons (Benin, Ghana and Senegal). This season, 21 artisans and 10 masons—i.e 26% of those working—left for abroad.

local partnerships

Cooperation with the AKNGS farmers' group in the Yako region is becoming established for the long-term and is an example of a model cooperative partnership. A very active group now developing some fund-raising ability, AKNGS acts independently on: clients, awareness raising, market support, promotion of the NV housing loan with UBTEC (an MFI), and monitoring of masons working in its region. It will help AVN replicate this model for other NAAM groups starting next season.

The partnership with the other farmers' group in the Yako region, UGN-B, has been suspended: an internal conflict at UGN-B means that AVN has no more contact person there. The dozen or so volunteers involved are nevertheless continuing awareness-raising activities with AVN.

TNB will have been the on-site operator for the project focusing on resettlement disaster-stricken populations in Nebba for four years; during this time, 131 houses (including 14 this season) as well as community buildings were built, and the first generation of local masons was trained. This context favours the emergence of a local market, leading AVN to consider expanding to a new region.

It should also be noted that a partnership is currently being established with the Wend-panga group of masons in Doulougou in order to strengthen training in the Koubri region.

Visit the partners webpage


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.

Rural development, economic development and sustainable development:

  • AVN's long-standing presence in rural areas, the extensive number of buildings constructed, the pool of trained masons and the partnerships entered into with farmers' groups are strong arguments in its favour
  • AVN is in contact with the major actors of rural development, such as the Support Programme for the Agriculture-Forestry-Livestock Value Chains, the Cabinet d'Ingénierie et Conseils en Développement d'Entreprises (a business development consultancy), the Farmers’ Confederation of Faso and the National Chamber of Agriculture


Housing: Exchanges with the Ministry for Housing in order to prepare a partnership convention

Environment and climate: From the start of the 2014–2015 season, AVN has supported negotiators in West African countries in preparing their respective commitments for the Paris Agreements, set out in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Thanks to those efforts, Nubian Vaults were mentioned as a solution for adaptation of the construction sector to climate change in Burkina Faso's INDC. (learn more)

Employment, vocational training and youth integration: Consultation with the Support Fund for Training and Learning (FAFPA) regarding accreditation for AVN as a vocational training operator



annual report 2015-16

annual report 2014-15