Pan-African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with two Chinese construction firms, Amberton International Holdings and Sichuan Huashi Enterprise Corporations E.A. LTD, aimed at scaling up the development of large-scale affordable housing projects in Kenya and other Shelter Afrique members states.
The agreement which is expected to boost Shelter Afrique’s mandate of providing decent and affordable housing in Africa was signed in Nairobi by Shelter Afrique Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chimphondah, Amberton International Holdings Director Nancy Yu, and Sichuan Huashi Enterprise Corporations E.A. LTD Managing Director Cao Zheng.
“As a company, our overriding strategy is the provision of affordable housing across our member States through public-private partnerships. This strategic partnership with Amberton and Huashi will be key in expanding our projects across the continent as we draw from the experiences of the two companies,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
“Shelter Afrique will work closely with Amberton International Holdings as a co-developer for specific large-scale, low-cost housing projects in Africa, which will be constructor by Sichuan Huashi Enterprise Corporations E.A. LTD,” added Mr. Chimpondah.
He noted that some off-take projects had been identified in Kenya and in other markets such as Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Nigeria where Shelter Afrique has existing project pipelines.
“Already we are in the process of securing a few projects in Kenya with the Department of Defense, the Kenya Police and the Civil Service, for which we expect to break ground this year. These take-off projects will be aligned with the Kenyan Government’s affordable housing plan under the Big 4 Agenda, which seeks to develop 500,000 housing units by 2022,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Mr. Chimphondah said the majority of African countries were already facing a housing crisis with the overall housing shortage estimated at 56 million housing units across the continent. Out of this, more than 90% are in the affordable housing bracket.
“We believe our partnership with Amberton and Huashi will deepen our impact on Kenya’s and by extension, Africa’s affordable housing value chain, in particular, the supply side,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Shelter-Afrique is owned by 44 African countries, the African Development Bank, and the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa-Re).