Nairobi, Kenya: 18 March 2021 - Pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the government of Cameroon to contribute to the government’s social housing programme and a hosting agreement for the 40th Annual General Meeting.
The MOU which is expected to contribute 3000 houses to the government’s social housing programme, was signed in Yaoundé by Shelter Afrique Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chimphondah and Cameroon Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Madame Célestine Ketcha Courtès, during a week-long working mission with the Shelter Afrique Team.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Madame Célestine Ketcha Courtès assumed the 1st Vice Chairpersonship of the Shelter Afrique Bureau in 2020 and will succeed Kenya as Chairman during the 40th Annual General Meeting, lauded Shelter Afrique for its commitment to Cameroon. The minister commended Mr Chimphondah for leading the successful mission to Cameroon and noted that it demonstrated Shelter Afrique’s conviction to invest in Cameroon’s housing industry's potential.
“The MOU we’ve signed with Shelter Afrique is a demonstration of the potential of the housing market in Cameroon, but more so it is proof that affordable housing is central to the agenda of the government of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, His Excellency, Paul Biya,” the Minister said, adding that the Government had undertaken to ensure that there would be incentives to encourage participation in the government’s Social Housing Programme.
On his part, Mr Chimphondah said the MOU signing was very significant. It highlighted Shelter Afrique’s role as a catalyst in the industry and its ability to leverage and syndicate other global funding partners.
“This MOU will provide catalytic funding from Shelter Afrique, who will also be the lead arranger to assist in raising additional financing through the syndication of other Developmental Financial Institutions. This funding will contribute to the delivery of the 3000 houses under the government social housing project in Yaoundé and Douala,” Mr Chimphondah said at the signing ceremony.
40th Annual General Meeting and Anniversary
The signing ceremony also featured the signing of the hosting country agreement for the 40th Annual General Meeting, which will be hosted in Yaounde from the 20th- 26th of June 2021; the Minister and the 1st Vice-Chairperson of the Bureau reiterated Cameroon’s commitment to host a unique AGM.
“Under the High Patronage of the President, His Excellency, Mr Paul Biya, Cameroon will be hosting 43 Member countries and global financial institutions to the 40th Annual General Meeting. We are eager to share the Cameroonian hospitality but, more importantly, to engage with the Finance Ministers and Housing Ministers that will be present to collectively find pragmatic solutions to the housing crisis in Africa during this post-COVID-19 era. Above all, It promises to be a unique AGM”.
Chimphondah adding on the unique nature of the AGM, noted that the AGM coincides with the organisations 40th anniversary; “In most cultures, 40 is a significant milestone; milestones offer us an opportunity to congratulate ourselves and enjoy our accomplishments. More importantly, they are a moment for us to reflect and consider what happens next. That is why the theme for this year’s AGM is Four Decades of Affordable Housing Policies in Africa: Mapping the Next Forty Years. Our 40th year will be one of retrospection; We believe as we navigate this new decade and the realities that this pandemic has thrown into sharp relief, there is a need to review Africa's policy environment. Not merely to measure growth, successes and challenges but, more importantly, to forecast the next forty years to shape policy for our member-states.”
Chimphondah acknowledged the limitation of COVID-19 on travel and gatherings and offered that the AGM will be presented as a hybrid of in-person attendance and virtual attendance. It will be recalled that Shelter Afrique successfully held their first virtual AGM in 2020.