Other countries

AVN does not have active programs yet in many of the countries of the Sahel (Niger, Tchad, Ivory Coast, Togo, Sudan, Nigeria, ...), mainly because of our limited resources, both human and financial, for training of masons and local managers. However, two isolated NV buildings have been constructed in Ivory Coast and northern Togo, and discussions are underway with potential partners and/or clients in Guinea Conakry and Niger.

In the current 2o16/17 season, AVN is going through a consolidation phase in the countries with ongoing programmes (Burkina Faso, Mali, Sénégal, Bénin & Ghana) and has no plans at the moment for deployments elsewhere.

 previous deployments in other countries



In January 2012, a Mauritanian NGO based in France, UJEOF, contracted a team of NV Burkinabé masons to construct the first two private buildings in the south of the country (Oulombony).

Since january 2015, a resettlement project, financed by the Dubaï Charity Association, is running in the Diakré region. The local operator is Banlieue du Monde organization and is supported by AVN Senegal and by Le Partenariat organization to implement and monitor the construction works.

During the 2015/16 season, 26 family houses and 2 community buildings were completed, of the planned total of 51 houses and 3 community buildings (for 450 beneficiaries). This is the first village in West Africa composed entirely of NV houses!

Southern Africa - ZAMBIa

An initial exploratory mission, suggested by a Belgian NGO working in the Chibombo district of Zambia, was carried out in November 2009 by Jean Stasse (President of AVN-Belgium) and Thomas Granier (Founder and CEO of AVN).

This visit demonstrated many similarities between the situation in Zambia and that in the Sahel: mud-brick houses with thatch roofs, increasing deforestation, and a strong interest from local villagers in the NV concept. It was therefore possible to imagine a deployment in this country as a springboard to reach other Southern African countries.

As a result, two Zambian apprentices came to Burkina Faso for initial training, followed by two visits to Zambia by NV Burkinabé masons in 2010 and 2011.

This first visit, aiming at laying the foundation of a deployment in a country very far from the AVN core programme, was not sufficiently conclusive. However, this visit allowed AVN to have a better overview of strategies for far off countries:

  • A local partner is very important. It has to be fully involved during many years. In view of the programme financial means and the importance of culture and local networks, it is not possible to implement AVN’s programme in a far-off country without a deeply involved partner.
  • Regional particularities such as geological, climate, socio-cultural and economical must be studied during construction pilot phase and examples of Nubian Vault must be implemented in order to raise awareness of partners and local authorities.
  • It wouldn’t be good, under the pretext of identical issues, to transpose a method from one country to an other, because some approach phases are essential.


NV burkinabe masons on a construction work in Zambia

MADAGASCAR : Pilot Phases on the Big Island

At the invitation of The NGO Ecoles du Monde, working in the region of  Majunga, Thomas Granier (CEO and founder of AVN), visited Madagascar in 2010, to explore the possibility of launching a NV Program. The visit was funded by the Fondation d'Entreprise Véolia.

This visit confirmed the need for a pilot and evaluation phase before starting a new program. And before bringing in a one or more NV masons from Burkina Faso, it would be necessary to involve other local partners from different regions of the country: Madagascar offers a wide variety of climates, geology, and cultures, and the NV concept may well be approriate for some regions, but not for others.

NV built by the architect Jean Louis Rostaing in Majunga

A French architect, Jean Louis Rostaing, in association with Ecoles du Monde, after building a small vault on his land at Majunga, organised a visit by a NV mason from Burkina, Moussa Bonkian. A private client based in the high plateau region near the capital, Tananarive, has financed a small NV building with the help of Moussa Bonkian and local masons. This was a success, but attempts to build another NV in the region of Majunga, with a different climate and type of earth, turned out a failure

First NV construction VN in the high plateau region

Technical problems in the Majunga region

So, mixed results: some trained masons and potential clients in the region around the capital, but technical problems in the region of Majunga, which need to be analysed thoroughly.  In the meantime, AVN awaits further developments from current and potential partners in the country.


In Rwanda, a partner-client working in the food sector was interested in testing the potential of NV buildings for intensive mushroom cultivation. In July 2011, two NV masons went to Rwanda to construct a pilot building.

Unfortunately, the early arrival of torrential rains meant that the building (two 10M vaults) was not completed in time, and suffered major damage. Nevertheless, we hope to continue the project in 2012, with an earlier start date to ensure that the building is complete and waterproofed before the rains start...

The mushroom barn under construction...

.... and after two days of torrential rain.

Other countries outside the Sahelian regions


A Mexican mason, Stevan de la Rosa, was trained with AVN in Burkina Faso. He constructed the two first NV buildings in his country

NV mason Ibrahim, from Niger, with his apprentice Stevan de la Rosa

The NV chicken house built by Stevan de le Rosa

For requests for potential partnerships, and other information about our network of contacts worldwide, follow the link below....