By Ella Anokam
Shelter Afrique (SHAF), also an Pan-African housing finance institution and the UN Agency for Human Settlement (UN-Habitat), are collaborating to foster housing delivery and sustainable urban development in Africa.
Mr Babatunde Oyateru, SHAF Communication and Marketing Officer, made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Abuja on Thursday.
He said that the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on delivering on the New Urban Agenda.
The New Urban Agenda is an action-oriented document which set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way countries build, manage, and live in cities.
He further said the MoU was signed in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III.
He noted that the MoU, which was signed during the 26th General Council of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya, will see the two organisations deliver an ambitious agendum for affordable housing on the continent.
The officer said that the MoU between the two organisations was set to deliver on the creation of a funding mechanism for housing and housing-related infrastructure in Africa by 2018 which will aim to raise $1 billion by 2020.
Oyateru quoted the Acting Managing Director for Shelter Afrique, Mr Femi Adewole as highlighting similarities in the New Urban Agenda and Shelter Afrique’s strategic vision for delivering impact on the continent.
“We are committed to this action because the the scale of the challenges that face us as a continent, require ambition, dedication and commitment.
“Our commitment to delivering on the objectives of the New Urban Agenda has always been resolute and frankly at this time for us as an organisation, necessary, but we take the first of what will be many steps in realising it.
“We do this, also in the expectation that our shareholders and members will match our commitment to delivering these objectives and use Shelter Afrique as the instrument for implementation.
“It will also elaborate a Pan-African Slum Eradication programme based on best practices and successfully implement such a programme in 20 countries by 2021,” he said.
Oyateru further said that Shelter Afrique and UN-Habitat would jointly create a coalition of large employers in Africa to implement “Employer Sponsored Housing Programmes in Africa”.
The programme, according to him, should pledge to produce 100,000 housing units by 2020.
He added that the two organisations were expected to create a Rental Housing Promotion Initiative that would influence regulation and create the enabling environment for Rental Housing in Africa.
He also said the organisations would immediately address the creation of a 360-degree Housing Policy Review to provide feedback to governments on policy flaws and gaps.
“It will establish a monitoring mechanism to evaluate progress,” he added.
Shelter Afrique is the only pan-African finance institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and real estate sector in Africa.
It will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in July at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; UN-Habitat is expected to also play a role at that meeting.