By SARA OKUORO
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 Sh20 million (USD200,000) Technical Assistance partnership will provide advisory services funded under the Joint Capital Markets Program (JCAP) aimed at supporting Shelter Afrique’s capital market program.
The JCAP program is an initiative of the World Bank Group meant to create deep, efficient, and well-regulated local capital markets for expanded access to long-term, local-currency finance in key areas such as climate, housing and infrastructure.
“Shelter Afrique aims to build strategic partnerships and alliances with key industry players as part of its sustainable recovery and growth strategy,” said Andrew Chimphondah, Shelter Afrique Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful to the World Bank for offering technical assistance support which will be key in completing our turn around program.”
The partnership will enhance Shelter Afrique’s institutional, operational and the technical capacity targeting the reinstatement of investment grade credit rating and a strong return to the capital markets.
“We anticipate that this partnership will help to deepen ShAf’s impact on Kenya’s affordable housing value chain, in particular, the supply side and subsequently help to bring down the country’s housing deficit,” said Simon Walley, World Bank Lead Financial Sector Specialist.
African countries are currently facing a housing crisis driven by high population growth, increased urbanization, poor urban planning, dysfunctional land markets, rising construction costs, proliferation of informal settlements, and underdeveloped financial systems.
Overall shortage of housing in Africa is estimated at 56 million housing units according to research from Shelter Afrique’s Centre of Excellence (CoE).
Out of this, more than 90 per cent are in the affordable housing bracket. The study notes that the solution lies in a well-coordinated and collaborative effort among all stakeholders, including governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.