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Unlocking the climate smart forest economy in East Africa


This community of East African partners focuses on forest-to-frame pathways, from supporting the commercial forestry sector to constructing mass timber buildings in order to develop the ecosystem in East Africa.


In this first phase, we are working with BuildX (an architecture, engineering, and construction B Corp™) based in Kenya. Using BuildX's CLT prototype and other building work, we were able to extrapolate what would be needed to build a climate smart forest economy across the region.

Image by Jeremy Bishop

Sustainable Forest-Frame Value Chain

Developing sustainable mechanisms to locally source and produce mass timber products to serve the timber construction industry in East Africa

Image by Amani Nation

Demonstrate the Use of Mass Timber

Demonstrating the viability and suitability of mass timber as an affordable and green housing solution

Image by Preethi Viswanathan

Build a Coalition of Active Stakeholders

Creating a regional network of committed and energized stakeholders to active and grow the mass timber value chains in Africa



Partners in East Africa are engaged in supporting  forest assessments (carbon, safeguards, and supply potential) to understand risks and opportunities in the forestry sector in the region. This has included assessing the capacity for local forests to sustainably and equitably meet forecast timber demand for the mass timber industry. Partners are also committed to strengthening ecosystem stakeholders and developing sector skills through targeted research, promotion and advocacy, and targeted training for the forestry sector. 


Partners are supporting efforts to establish a manufacturer of engineered wood products for the construction sector in the region. This has included Easy Housing establishing workshops to prefabricate timber homes in Uganda. In addition, the East Africa initiative has profiled and is promoting investments into facilities such as for cross-laminated timber (CLT). Spearheaded by some of the partners, the goal is to establish East Africa as a construction hub over the coming decades.


A core component of developing the mass timber industry in East Africa is generating demand by educating stakeholders, demonstrating mass timber viability and engaging potential designers, builders and consumers for mass timber. Partners have engaged with donors, government, architects, and construction firms throughout the region. In addition, a behaviour change study was conducted to inform market activation across different segments 


Our partners have supported the development of flagship buildings that showcase the feasibility of mass timber in construction.  In Uganda, Easy Housing built a prefabricated engineered timber house for refugees, which can act as a template for future construction. In Kenya, BuildX has developed a CLT prototype that showcases the opportunity for other forestry, design and construction stakeholders.

ARUP and Fractal Forest's:

East Africa Sustainable Timber Supply / Demand Study

This research presents the findings from a supply and demand study for sustainable timber in construction, and Mass Engineered Timber (MET) in particular, together with suggestions for further work . It includes 20-year projections of how this may change under three scenarios: business as usual, realistic “Timber Transition”, and optimistic “Timber Renaissance”. Given the scale of the challenge we face to balance the needs of the environment and of society our
optimistic scenario or Timber Renaissance is purposefully ambitious, requiring systemic change in the enabling environment, supply chain and construction industry itself.

Download the report summary below, or the full report here.



The Opportunity for Governments
The Opportunity for Investors
Behavioural Change Study
Supply/Demand Projections
Pathways for Sector Development
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