CAPE TOWN, December – The Nairobi-based pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique is considering establishing a Southern Africa regional office in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Andrew Chimphondah made the announcement after meeting Zimbabwe’s Minister for Housing and Social Amenities, the Honourable Daniel Garwe, in Harare.
The Harare office is set to become Shelter Afrique’s third regional office, adding to its existing presence in Abuja – which serves the Anglophone West Africa region, and Abidjan – which serves the francophone west, central and northern Africa regions, said a statement on Tuesday, December 14.
“This is an important step we need to take to develop our ability to support our southern African member states, which we currently serve from our headquarters in Nairobi.
“Our aim is to build our presence in Harare in the months and years ahead, to support both the government of Zimbabwe and other member countries from the region, including Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, and Zambia,” Chimphondah said.
He said the company had increased its activities in Zimbabwe and the region, thus the need for physical presence.
“For instance, Shelter Afrique is set to build 10 000 housing units in partnership with the government of Zimbabwe as part of our core mandate of delivering low-cost housing to Africans. Of these units, 3 000 are targeted for delivery during the first phase of the project. We also have other projects going on in the region,” Chimphondah said.
The minister of housing and social amenities in Zimbabwe, Garwe, welcomed the decision for a regional office, noting that the government of Zimbabwe has already identified well located land for the construction of the office. Honourable Garwe is also the First Vice President of the Shelter Afrique General Assembly.
Garwe said that the government was also looking for land with intrinsic value to ensure that affordable houses were built to reduce the country’s housing backlog, which currently stands at 1.2 million houses.
“We can only clear that backlog if we adopt new technologies which ensure that we provide housing in the shortest possible time at very affordable levels in terms of the cost.
“I’m pleased to note that Shelter Afrique has also offered to establish a housing factory in Zimbabwe for the production of building materials that would be used deploying new technologies so that houses can be built at a much faster pace,” he said.
Zimbabwe is set to host Shelter Afrique’s 41st annual general meeting in Victoria Falls in June 2022, where the minister of housing and social amenities for Zimbabwe, Daniel Garwe, will be appointed the president of the AGM Bureau or General Assembly.
The regional office will also serve Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, and Zambia.
African News Agency (ANA)