identity card

AVN started work in Senegal in 2007, with the Communauté de communes du Val de Drôme (CCVD), who asked AVN to provide a team of masons to build a major project, La Maison des Energies technical training centre, in  Sinthiou Bamanbé (near Matam, NE Senegal). The buildings (~ 800 M2) were constructed over three consecutive seasons by NV masons, and several local apprentices were trained. 

Since 2010, the AVN Program in Senegal is centred on Thiès and mainly on Podor in the region of Saint Louis, as the result of a partnership with the Franco-Senegalese NGO Le Partenariat, and with support from La Fondation d'Entreprise Eiffage.

At the beginning of the 15-16 season, it was decided to bring an end to kickstarting activities for private clientele in the rural areas of the Thiès region following three seasons of experimentation, which was the time needed to gradually analyze the region, carry out certain adjustments and decide on the relevance of the approach. Like in the Podor region, where the same decision was taken in 2014, activities focused instead on public and community kickstarting, benefitting from NGO Le Partenariat's experience with works management assistance and institutional procedures.


The Maison des Yvelines building in Ourossogui

A Health Centre in Baba Garage

local context

  • Sahelian climate
  • GDP per capita: $899 (32nd in Africa)*
  • Coastal zone with deltas and little earth-based architecture
  • Rural population more involved in livestock farming than smallholding
  • Greater degree of urbanization (less community support)
  • Political maturity, which led to strong interest from institutional actors from the very first
  • NVs, as well as prospects for the emergence of a local institutional market and the use of NVs in national programmes

* Source : Banque Mondiale / Actualix (chiffres 2015)


Territorial rollout

key data

  • 2007-2010: first NV buildings built, including the Maison des Énergies in the Matam region
  • 2011: the programme begins operating in northern regions alongside NGO Le Partenariat
  • 2013: 1st local AVN team and expansion to the Thiès region
  • 2014: preparation of a multi-annual project led by the Ministry for the Environment and Sustainable Development; focus on institutional and community kickstarting in the northern regions
  • 2015: 1st partnerships established with civil society organizations; refugee resettlement project in Mauritania, on the Senegalese border
  • 2016: strategy refocused on kickstarting the emerging institutional and community markets in the Thiès region


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

During season 2015-16:

  • +9 sites bringing the number of sites with at least one NV building up to 60
  • Preparatory activities for regional expansion to the Kaffrine-Tambacounda axis by 2018



Analysis by Sector of Activity

Formation dynamisée Technique (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 8 in senegal.

Learn more on Technical Boosted Training


donation & resettlement
Since 2014, the resettlement project in Diakré (Mauritania) is implemented by NGO Le Partenariat and AVN Senegal, and financed by Dubaï Charity Association.

Learn more on the resettlement project in Mauritania


etechnical expertise
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


A health centre in Meri under construction

The market development strategy, which is specific to Senegal, takes advantage of the programme as a whole and includes:

  • technical research
  • the integration and training of various stakeholders from the sector (including the technical services of municipalities)
  • the structuring of a formal sector (works management assistance, project management, traditional companies, technical-financial reference documents)

In addition, the model buildings constructed should gradually stimulate the emergence of private demand for NVs. In the Kaffrine region, which has more smallholders, the village dynamic fostered by the Malem Auder Association, will, as part of two community worksites, benefit this season from an incentive mechanism for private clients and next season for local apprentices.

At national and regional level, AVN has strengthened its advocacy activities and is preparing programmes that include NVs with the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Professional Training. The work already done at regional level with local municipalities and their technical services will allow this type of project to be implemented.

Summary of NV buildings constructed, 2015–2016:

  • 11 buildings built in Senegal and 28 buildings in Mauritania
  • 51% of buildings built in rural areas in Senegal and 100% in Mauritania
  • 64% built for institutional clients (NGOs and local municipalities) and for community use in Senegal; 93% used for housing in Mauritania
  • 45% built with partner involvement in Senegal and 100% in Mauritania
  • 73% of worksites include boosted training activities in Senegal

training of a workforce


The majority of worksites (not including Mauritania) have benefitted from boosted training activities: progress in qualifications has been affected positively, with five new masons qualified who could quickly become site foremen.

Since the local supply remains largely below the demand, 50 foreign masons worked in Senegal this season.

Strengthening the training of masons should allow for an increase in production capacity that meets the existing opportunities and should permanently establish the NV market in Senegal.

  • 1st active team of 100% Senegalese workers, with 1 NV Senegalese artisan qualified since 2015
  • the 1st formal Senegalese company, established by a Burkinabe, completed its first public contract
  • 1 formal company has confirmed its desire to add NVs to its commercial offer

local partnerships

Since 2010, the NGO Le Partenariat (LP) has been responsible for institutional kickstarting of the NV market in northern Senegal, and this season has supported AVN in replicating this methodology in other regions, in particular vis-à-vis Regional Agencies for Development (ARDs). In addition, LP is responsible for the monitoring and coordination of:

  • two large institutional projects that involve formal construction companies and
  • the resettlement project for refugees in Mauritania for the second season, mobilizing three partners and masons from three countries in order to build the first village made entirely of NVs in West Africa.

Next season, LP will be the technical operator for the project to develop the institutional market in four departments in northern Senegal, financed by the Departmental Council of Yvelines (CD78). A good technical partner, LP's knowledge of the region and of local actors and its ability to support project management gives it a strong role to play in institutionalizing the programme in Senegal.

The partnership with the Senegalese-Belgian association Malem Auder in the Centre-West region (Department of Kaffrine) focused on two NV community building projects this season. Its capacity to mobilize rural and smallholder communities and to monitor masons' training places it in a coordinating position for the "Green Village" pilot project (promoting housing and training), which will be carried out in the region next season.

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:

  • Awareness raising and dialogue with the Regional Agencies and Departments for Development—the technical branches of local authorities—in particular for the implementation of the National Plan for Local Development (PNDL) in Thiès, Diourbel, Kaffrine and Tambacounda and through the NGO Le Partenariat in Saint-Louis and Matam
  • Meetings with the Ministries for Education, Local Governance, Development and Land Planning and Defence, in order to make them aware of the advantages of NVs



  • Meetings with the Ministries for Urban Renewal, for Housing and for the Living Environment, in particular as part of the Plan for an Emerging Senegal, in order to establish favourable conditions for the creation of NV housing by property developers
  • Meeting with the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations about a social housing project


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 energy efficiency in Senegal's INDC (learn more)

Employment, vocational training and youth integration: Consultations with the Ministry for Vocational Training, Learning and Crafts and with the CFBTP—a centre offering specialized training in construction—in Damniadio about the integration of NVs in vocational training syllabuses and about the establishment of pilot projects with the CFPs


annual report 2015-16

annual report 2014-15