Pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique has signed a US$11 million housing deal with Harare-based African Banking Corporation (BancABC). The facility will be used for the construction of 2,500 residential housing units, mortgage origination, home extension and improvement, onward lending to affordable housing projects as well as financing small-scale commercial projects.
Commenting on the deal, Shelter Afrique group managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Chimphondah said the line of credit would be crucial in addressing the housing backlog in Zimbabwe”Our Centre of excellence research shows that many African countries are facing a housing crisis. Zimbabwe, for instance, is facing an estimated housing shortfall of close to 1.5 million units. The extension of the US$11 million facility to BancABC reaffirms our commitment to addressing Zimbabwe’s housing crisis through provision of affordable housing solutions for her citizens,” Mr. Chimphondah said. “These will be the third and fourth facilities to African Banking Corporation having granted it a ten-year US$ 7 million loan facility in 2011 and US$5 million in 2013 one-year-trade finance facility which was rolled over for one more year in 2014. The trade finance facility was repaid on schedule,” he added.
On his part, African Banking Corporation banking chief executive officer Dr. Lance Mambondiani lauded the long term partnership enjoyed by the two institutions. “Our partnership with Shelter Afriques dates back to 2011 when BancABC drew its first facility. We are pleased to partner with Shelter Afrique again on a project of such magnitude, because of the many lives it will impact. Our corporate and investment banking team has been working on putting this deal together and today we are proud to sign off on it. We look forward to a longer term relationship as we explore further areas of interest together,” Dr. Mambondiani said.
The seven year facility, which includes a twenty month grace period, will be due for repayment in 2027. The announcement of the deal sees Shelter-Afrique ramp up its activities in Zimbabwe, which has been announced as the venue for the 41st AGM having successfully hosted the 37th AGM in 2017. It will be recalled that Zimbabwe was also the venue of the newly established masterclass session of Shelter-Afrique’s Centre of Excellence in 2019. Chimphondah (himself a Zimbabwean national) remarked that Zimbabwe was one of five countries to have completed their capital subscriptions till date. “Zimbabwe continues to lead in the SADC region and indeed the organization as one of our most active shareholders, and is a fine example of how we deliver on our second strategic goal of shareholder value and development impact.”