Shelter Afrique Board has approved the establishment of a construction company in Cameroon at an estimated cost of USD15 million.
The Industrial Housing Corporation (IHC) is a joint venture initiative that will be managed under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), with Shelter Afrique owning 51 percent of the Company and the Government of Cameroon owning 49 percent (through the Housing Ministry and Urban Development).
“The Company will be established based on Public and Private Partnership through which the Government of Cameroon will designate a location and provide the relevant land where the factory will be situated close to the main towns – either in Yaoundé or Duala. The Cameroonian Government will also provide other incentives and off-site infrastructure. Shelter Afrique will provide both financial and consultancy support,” Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chimphondah explained.
Mr Chimphondah noted that the facility was in line with the Shelter Afrique Board’s approved product lines and business strategy, adding that the equity investment was part of Shelter Afrique’s product lines and catalytic investments in the establishment of vehicles for the development of alternative building technologies for accelerated and mass development of affordable housing in member countries.
Cameroon has a huge deficit of contractors with adequate capacity and logistics, thus resulting in high construction cost, low quality of construction and occasion delays in delivering large housing.
The Company will produce construction materials such as polystyrene, block production plan, panel production plan and other associated equipment in a bid to promote large-scale decent social housing programs across Cameroon.
“We strongly believe that the establishment of Industrial Housing Corporation is the appropriate contribution by Shelter Afrique to address the problems facing the provision of affordable housing in Cameroon through capacity building. We also believe that this concept will be easily replicable in other member countries as we address the problem of housing shortage across the continent,” Mr Chimphondah said.
He said the Company, with the supervisory role played by Shelter Afrique, will ensure that the final products are priced at levels that are considered affordable to enable mass acquisitions and development of affordable housing in the country.
When established, the factory is expected to reach a minimum annual production capacity of 1,500 affordable houses through enhancement of innovation and capacity building on the use of alternative building technologies. It is also expected to improve the living condition of more than new 1,500 households and create direct and indirect employment opportunities for over 2000 citizens.
Cameroon’s Minister of Housing and Urban Development Célestine Ketcha Courtes – who is also Chairperson of Shelter Afrique’s AGM Bureau – is expected in Nairobi this week to meet Shelter Afrique management and board. She will also pay a courtesy call on her Kenya counterpart and predecessor, Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.