Shelter Afrique, the Pan-African finance institution exclusively supporting the development of affordable housing and real estate sector in Africa and UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency responsible for Human Settlement and Housing have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will see collaboration on delivering on the New Urban Agenda.
The New Urban Agenda is an action-oriented document which sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way countries build, manage, and live in cities. It was signed in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III. The MoU which was signed during the 26th General Council of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya will see the two organisations work towards the delivering of an ambitious agenda for affordable housing on the continent. The ceremony which took place during a sideevent at the 26th GC was attended by government and senior representatives of member countries and staff of Shelter Afrique as well as the staff of UN-Habitat.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Acting Managing Director for Shelter Afrique, Mr. Femi Adewole highlighted similarities in the New Urban Agenda and Shelter Afrique's strategic vision for delivering impact on the continent. He remarked, "We are committed to this [action] because the the scale of the challenges that face us as a continent, require ambition, dedication and commitment". He continued "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 today 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." The MoU between the two organisations is 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 a total of $1 billion by 2020. It will also elaborate a Pan-African Slum Eradication program based on best practices and successfully implement such a program in 20 countries by 2021. Shelter Afrique and UN-Habitat also want to jointly create a coalition of large employers in Africa to implement "Employer Sponsored Housing Programs in Africa". The programme should pledge to produce 100,000 housing units by 2020.
In addition to this, the two organisations expect to create a Rental Housing Promotion Initiative that will influence regulation and create the enabling environment for Rental Housing in Africa. Lastly, the organisations also want to immediately address the creation of a 360-degree Housing Policy Review to provide feedback to governments on policy flaws and Gaps and establish a monitoring mechanism to evaluate progress. Speaking on behalf of African governments, Minister of Housing for Uganda, Hon. Chris Baroymunsi reaffirmed the commitment of African governments to the objectives of the New Urban Agenda and the success of both organisations. "I want to assure you that we will not pay lip-service to the goals set out today, I think I can speak on behalf of my colleagues on our commitment to the New Urban Agenda and Shelter Afrique. I will speak specifically for Uganda now; we have initiated several successful projects with Shelter Afrique and UN-Habitat. We rely on them for policy and implementation advice, and we have been grateful for their support, but we require ceremonies like this to recommit ourselves to the future of affordable housing in Africa". Shelter Afrique has announced it will hold its Annual General Meeting in July at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; UN-Habitat is expected to also play a role at that meeting.
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About Shelter Afrique
Shelter Afrique (SHAF) is the only pan-African finance institution that exclusively supports the development of the housing and real estate sector in Africa. A partnership of 44 African Governments, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Reinsurance Company, Shelter Afrique builds strategic partnerships and offers a host of products and related services to support the efficient delivery of affordable housing and commercial real estate.
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UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.