As we head into 2023, at Empowa, we are excited to announce our plans for the year ahead.
As the global socio-political environment stutters through war in Ukraine, Chinese tensions and divided US politics, and the world economy endures increasing energy costs and inflation, we cannot lose sight of the people that this impacts the most — the developing world. We are determined to continue our mission of enabling affordable home ownership in the developing world and will not rest until we have done so.
To achieve this, in the first half of 2023, we will continue to scale our efforts in the home loan market in Mozambique. In 2022, we were able to grow the Mozambican market by 5% and we are confident that we can significantly grow this impact in the coming year. One of our major initiatives in this area will be the launch of the Maraza project. We envisage that by Q2 we will be able to provide funding for the first of the 25,000 families that require an affordable lease-to-own home loan. We will be working with SDUB and the City of Beira who have already invested in the preparation of the land and services to enable this to happen. As we did in 2022, when together we developed and promoted the first affordable hempcrete home in Africa, we will continue working with Casa Real to promote the use of innovative and sustainable building techniques. We will be collecting data on the hempcrete home, as well as other climate-smart building techniques, to promote solutions that are both affordable and meet real market needs. We will continue our mission to ensure that the clients not only receive affordable climate-resilient homes but that they are also as environmentally positive as practically possible and contribute to the fight against climate change.
In addition to our efforts in Mozambique, to prove what Empowa is doing is replicable and scalable, we also plan to launch in at least one other African market. We understand the importance of expanding our reach, mitigating project and country risk and providing affordable housing options to more people, in more cities around the world. We are currently conducting market research with the support of an on-the-ground development partner to identify the best location for our next launch and should be able to confirm this location in the coming weeks.
Another important aspect of our ecosystem is the Empowa NFT. In 2023, we plan to build out our explorer functionality to show exclusive impact content and the financial performance of our NFTs. This will provide transparency and accountability for our collectors and highlight the real-world impact of their support on our projects.
With the support of Mercy Corp Ventures, the work on Empowa Pay continues. Empowa Pay paves the way for capturing tenant payments on-chain and provides the benefit of reducing costs and improving verification of the underlying cashflows required to stimulate and crowd in funding. Empowa Pay streamlines the process of collecting payments and provides valuable data on tenant behaviours and preferences.
Lastly, we will continue to build out the utility of the EMP token within our ecosystem to drive demand. We know that by creating a strong ecosystem, we will be driving demand for our token and providing all of our stakeholders with a utility token of value.
We are extremely excited about the opportunities that 2023 holds for Empowa. Despite the economic headwinds, we are confident that those of us focused on RealFi projects, meet real-world needs, and through innovative thinking and improved use of technology can continue to drive value creation. It is still early in the journey, and we have a long way to go, but each step is in the right direction and continues to create value for all of our stakeholders and the planet. Thank you for being part of this journey, and we look forward to sharing our continued progress with you throughout 2023.