Pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique has entered into a strategic partnership with the World Bank aimed at addressing the affordable housing crisis evident across the continent. The World Bank has also extended a Kshs. 22 million (USD200, 000) grant to support Shelter Afrique’s capital market programme.
“We are pleased that the strategy that was approved by the board is now bearing the intended fruits through the deliberate creation of appropriate strategic alliances. We applaud the partnership with the World Bank. We would also like to invite other global multilateral financial institutions to invest in Shelter Afrique’s shares so that they can have access to forty four African countries through our window,” said the newly appointed Shelter Afrique board chairman, Dr. Steve Mainda.
Commenting on this great strategic partnership, Shelter Afrique chief executive officer Andrew Chimphondah said that the company is privileged to have the support of a premier institution such as the World Bank.
“We are grateful to the World Bank for offering technical assistance in support of our successful turnaround programme. This assistance will go a long way in enhancing Shelter Afrique’s institutional, operational and the technical capacity targeting the reinstatement of our investment grade credit rating and a strong return to the capital markets,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Mr. Chimphondah observed that the two institutions were working towards a more long-term partnership with a mix of possible interventions including support for member countries’ equity injections via country IDA allocation; direct lines of credit from the World Bank, as well as credit guarantee schemes that will enable Shelter Afrique return to the capital markets.
He added that the majority of African countries were already facing a housing crisis as a result of high population growth, increased urbanization, poor urban planning, dysfunctional land markets, rising construction costs, proliferation of informal settlements and underdeveloped financial systems.
Research from Shelter Afrique’s centre of excellence indicates that the overall shortage of housing in Africa is estimated at fifty six million units. Out of this, more than ninety per cent are in the affordable housing bracket.
“The solution lies in a well-coordinated and collaborative effort among all stakeholders, including governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organizations and the private sector. We believe that this partnership with the World Bank will deepen our impact on Kenya’s affordable housing value chain, in particular, the supply side and subsequently help to bring down the housing deficit in the country and Africa as a whole,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Shelter-Afrique is a pan African housing finance and development institution established by African governments to address the need for a sustainable housing delivery system and related infrastructure projects in Africa. Shareholders include forty four African countries, the African Development Bank and the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa-Re).