Joel Baur Takes Citra to the World

Joel Baur, CEO of Citra, has played a pivotal role in propelling the company to the forefront of the global market and as a leader in the areas of innovative green housing, construction technology, net-zero architecture, housing design, and energy-efficient technology.

Over the last two years, Joel has represented Citra at a number of prestigious local and international conferences and awards, including:

  • Green Building Conference in Cape Town,  2021
  • Annual Conference of the African Union for Housing Finance in Cairo, 2022
  • African Business Conference, In Cape Town, 2022
  • 1.5 Degree Panel Discussion about Citra and Kaackai in Cape Town 2023
  • Devac Infrastructure Conference in Johannesburg, 2023

Citra – the Big Fish in the Shark Tank

In perhaps his most compelling appearance yet, Joel pitched Citra to over 200 people at the Annual Conference of the African Union for Housing Finance, looking to impress a 3-person panel in a Shark Tank-like setting. The esteemed panel consisted of:

  • Debra Erb – Managing Director, Housing: Real Estate Project Finance, International Development Finance Corporation from the United States
  • Maureen Katuvesiraunia – Global Housing Finance Specialist, IFC/World Bank Group from South Africa
  • Zachary Munene – Business Manager for Eastern and Southern Africa Region, Shelter Afrique from Kenya

The aim of the Shark Cage presentation was to offer companies that specialise in green building technology, net-zero architecture, and other sustainable construction practices, the opportunity to pitch their business and projects to highly experienced and accomplished individuals from the investment, sustainability, and construction industries. These experts would then evaluate the pitches and provide invaluable feedback that would help these companies secure funding and investments going forward.

Despite strong presentations from the competition, Citra walked away with second place. This is an impressive result considering the fact that there were nine participants and first place was awarded to a proposal from the Egyptian government with a large-scale social housing project in New Cairo backed by the World Bank.

The panel of experts was impressed by Joel’s presentation and Citra’s many achievements. They were especially excited by the fact that Citra, despite being a relatively new player in the field, would be building 4,000 units over the next ten years using their building technology and net-zero building systems.