Zimbabwe, Harare 15 February 2022
The Government of Zimbabwe represented by the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Honourable Daniel Garwe and Shelter Afrique represented by Managing Director Andrew Chimphondah, signed a Hosting Agreement for the Shelter Afrique 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 11 February 2022. The AGM will be held under the theme: Climate Change and the Built Environment.”
The signing of the Host Agreement signals the commitment by the Government of Zimbabwe to host the Shelter Afrique 41st Annual General Assembly earmarked for 25 to 30 July 2022 in Victoria Falls. The agreement spells out the Annual General Meeting, a ministerial roundtable and interlinked business activities as some of the events which will constitute part of the proceedings.
The Government of Zimbabwe is expected to ensure effective organisation and success of the meetings, by undertaking to contribute to the physical arrangements which include country entry requirements, provision of hosting premises, transport for designated officials, equipment required during conferencing, meeting COVID 19 related protocols for delegates and customs related formalities.
Speaking prior to the signing ceremony, Honourable Daniel Garwe who is also the first Vice Chairperson of the Shelter Afrique Bureau of the General Assembly, commended the Managing Director Andrew Chimphondah for leading a delegation to Zimbabwe and noted that the move demonstrated his conviction in the country as an ideal destination for foreign direct investment.
He explained that Zimbabwe joined Shelter-Afrique in November 1993 and since then, the organisation has invested $58.2 million in Zimbabwe through nine separate facilities.
The Minister also pointed out that Shelter Afrique held its 36th AGM in Victoria Falls and their return after 5 years for the 41st AGM demonstrates the renewed interest in Zimbabwe, providing a window of opportunity for the Government to leverage on in shaping the narrative towards robust human settlement delivery strategies.
He pointed out the gains to be accrued by Zimbabwe through hosting the AGM which include regional integration, tourism and business linkages and thanked Shelter Afrique for bestowing trust upon Zimbabwe as a Nation by selecting it as a venue of choice.
Speaking on the same occasion, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities Engineer Joy Makumbe emphasised that the signing ceremony was significant to the Ministry as it signalled the establishment of a relationship with anticipated great returns towards housing delivery in Zimbabwe.
On his part, Mr Chimphondah said the signing of the Host Agreement was significant in highlighting Shelter Afrique’s role as a catalyst in the industry and its ability to leverage partnerships.
He explained that this was envisioned to be delivered through Private-Public-Partnerships (PPPs) with the Urban Development Corporation (UDCORP).
“We have found success with this in our member countries and believe Zimbabwe is the ideal location for this,” he said.
Chimphondah thanked the Government of Zimbabwe for committing to hosting the 41st AGM, which will be the second time in 5 years.
He stressed that this would be an opportunity for the government to shape and lead the conversation on affordable housing in the region. In reference to the AGM theme, he referred to the Glasgow Conference of Parties (COP26) held last year as impetus to the need for a built environment which relates to climate change. He emphasised that housing played an important role in that regard and Africa had a role to play, which is why the proposed theme for the 41st AGM is Climate Change and the Built Environment.
Chimphondah acknowledged the unique location for the AGM. “I believe that it will be a unique AGM if for no other reason, there are very few places in the world that have the majesty of Victoria Falls,” he said.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Cabinet Ministers, senior government officials, representatives from the financial service sector and organisations within the housing delivery spectrum.
Hon. Daniel Garwe assumed the 1st Vice Chairpersonship of the Shelter Afrique Bureau in 2021 and will succeed Cameroon as Chairman during the 41st Annual General Meeting.
More than 200 guests drawn from the 44 member countries are expected to attend the AGM as well as other interlinked activities. An international exhibition is also envisaged to attract several exhibitors from across the world.