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Affordable housing stakeholders eying USD10,000 units

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Affordable housing stakeholders

Affordable housing stakeholders eying USD10,000 units

Kigali – November 8, 2021: Stakeholders in the housing sector are exploring ways of improving affordability of housing units in an attempt to address the biting housing shortage in Africa.

Speaking at the close of the 37th Annual General Meeting and conference of African Union for Housing Finance(“AUHF”) held in Kigali, Rwanda from the 2nd to 4th November under the theme “New Frontiers for Affordable Housing”, the Chairman of the AUHF and Shelter Afrique CEO, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah noted that one of the key learnings from the conference was that developing housing units with a selling price of USD10,000 or below is highly possible.

“This year’s AUHF annual conference has provided a very critical platform for global learning, sharing insights, networking, and highlighting trends in the fast-growing affordable housing sector in Africa. Some of the key trends covered in this year’s conference include innovations in underwriting for informal incomes; opportunities to be found in property technology; new and innovative funding approaches; green and climate-resilient housing; developing local capital markets, improving the efficiency and performance of the Housing Value Chain across the African continent and more importantly, increasing efforts to deliver exceptionally affordable homes at a selling price of less than $10,000,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

“In a post-Covid environment where everyone’s resources are constrained, we need to do more with so much less. What this means is that we need to improve the efficiencies of our housing sector and the processes it involves so that we can drastically reduce the construction cost and improve affordability,” Mr. Chimphondah added.  

The conference which attracted more than 550 attendees from around the world was presided over by Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete, who shared Rwanda’s ambitious affordable housing agenda.

“The new housing innovations have and continue to enable Rwanda to upgrade slums without the need to relocate the beneficiaries, The Government of Rwanda has also introduced various housing incentives such as the 100% infrastructure subsidies for low-cost high quality housing developments whose selling prices should not exceed US$35,000.00,” Amb. Gatete said.

From innovation and technology across the housing system, the conference was also used by leading institutions such as Shelter Afrique, UN Habitat, the African Development Bank, iLima Foundry, the Centre for Affordable Housing (CAHF), Reall and others to announce groundbreaking initiatives and developments that are likely to fast track sustainable affordable housing solutions across the continent.

“The conference also provided a platform for global leaders to share best practice; and for local developers to get access to ideas, technology and pan African and international contacts. Our hope is that these new ideas will speed up the development of the affordable housing sector across the continent,” said Centre for Affordable Housing Finance Executive Director Kecia Rust, who also serves at the AUHF’s Secretariat.

Kigali Declaration

At the conference, members issued the Kigali Declaration for Affordable Housing in Africaexpressing their commitment to working together in leveraging their diverse capacities, charting new frontiers in the delivery of affordable housing across the continent and in individual countries. 

“The Declaration sets out key commitments for the AUHF and its members, and urges governments, development finance institutions and support organisations, and other players across Africa’s affordable housing sector to work together in pursuit of these goals,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

About AUHF

Since its formation in 1984, the AUHF has evolved into a member-based, industry association of mortgage banks, building societies, housing corporations, Development Finance Institutions and other organisations involved in the mobilisation of funds for shelter and housing on the African continent.

As an industry body, the AUHF promotes the development of effective housing markets and the delivery of affordable housing across Africa, working in the interests of the members and the industry as a whole.

The AUHF is governed by a board of industry leaders elected every two years at its Annual General Body. The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF), based in South Africa, acts as the Secretariat of the AUHF.

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Did you know Cornrows were used by slaves to escape slavery?

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Cornrows were used by slaves to escape

Did you know Cornrows were used by slaves to escape slavery?

Cornrows were used by slaves to escape slavery: Cornrows that have found their way in the modern hairstyle among women were used by slaves to transfer information and create maps to exit from their masters.

During the moment slaves were not given the opportunity to write or read and so they developed tactics in passing information through cornrow.

This hairstyle is believed to have originated from the Southern American nation Columbia in the 1500s when Benkos-Bioho curated this design idea of using the cornrow hairstyle to create maps in order to deliver messages. Cornrows were also called canerows to mean the sugarcane fields that slaves worked in.

One style had curved braids, tightly braided on their heads. The curved braids would represent the roads they would use to escape.

Also in their braids, they kept gold and hid seeds which helped them survive after they escaped. They would use the seeds to plant crops once they were liberated.

Cornrows were the best way to not give back any suspicion to the owner. He would never figure out such a hairstyle would mean they would escape or the route they would take.

This hairstyle has now become a dominant fashion among women, especially among African women. It is the simplest hairstyle to go with. It’s best for wearing hair wigs.

 


Culled from: Black History Moment

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Nigeria commits to pay off US$28.7 million capital arrears in Shelter Afrique

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Nigeria Finance Minister Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Shelter Afrique MD Andrew Chimphondah

Abuja – January 11, 2022: The Federal Republic of Nigeria has pledged to pay the full capital arrear of US$28.7m in Shelter Afrique, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed disclosed at a meeting with Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Mr. Andrew Chimphondah in Abuja.

The Minister further disclosed that the payment will be made in four installments starting January 2022.

In September 2020, the pan African housing development financier received US$$9.4 million from Nigeria. The contribution moved Nigeria to become the second-largest shareholding in the organization with 13.27% of the shareholding, behind Kenya with 17.78%, and ahead of the AfDB at 12.83%.

Lauding the government of Nigeria for its show of confidence in the institution and a stamp of approval for the organisation’s financial turnaround, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah said, “This is a major milestone which is set to propel Nigeria to become the largest shareholder in Shelter-Afrique when the country meets its capital commitment. This is a strong testament of the strong shareholder commitment and support of the Shelter Afrique Board and Management.”

Housing Bond

Shelter Afrique is planning to raise 250 Billion Naira Bond (US$500million) in 2022 to support its affordable housing projects in Nigeria. The Company is set to commence the road shows with prospective investors in January 2022 and is expected to conclude fundraising by end of February.

Shelter Afrique has embarked on a defined strategy of developing and deepening local capital markets so that access to local currency which is competitively priced can be made available to Nigerian Developers from the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Large Developers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Banks and Primary Mortgage Lenders. The significance of this is that Shelter-Afrique will have been successful in dealing with the foreign exchange exposure risks that have crippled many African countries caused by the weakening of local African currencies against hard currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

Thanking the Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed for supporting the Bond Issue by the approvals received on critical waivers from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Chimphondah noted that Nigeria was a critical and strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the fund realized from the bond issue will go a long way in address the affordable housing shortage in the country, now estimated at 17 Million Units against the continent’s 56 million units.

“As a response to addressing this housing shortage, Shelter Afrique will implement a transformative strategy that will crowd in additional capital funding into the low cost large scale affordable housing market in a commercially viable manner,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

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International Open University (IOU) gets global accreditation for its degree programmes in the Gambia

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International Open University (IOU) gets global accreditation

International Open University (IOU) gets global accreditation for its degree programmes in The Gambia

The International Open University (IOU) has been accredited to offer a Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, and Bachelor of Science in Psychology courses.

A statemnet from the university said the acrediation was confirmed by the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority, NAQAA, in a letter signed by the Chief Executive Officer Dr. Gibril Jaw.

“The IOU received its first letter in March 2021, granting provisional accreditation for one year for its Bachelor of Arabic Language Studies programme, making it the first tertiary institution to ever be granted programme accreditation in The Gambia. The IOU deposited its six other programmes for accreditation soon after,” the statement from IOU said.

Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, the President of the International Open University, was visibly elated by this breakthrough, and he commended the CEO and his team for their steadfastness in ensuring a conducive environment for the development of tertiary and higher education. The CEO’s relentless efforts are paying off as many institutions are now responding positively to the required standards set by NAQAA for harmonized and quality post-secondary education.

Dr. Barry was once the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, under whose purview the NAQAA was established. He feels that opportunities are now available to provide the best university education to needy students in The Gambia.

He says that the International Open University is the brainchild of Dr. Bilal Philips and it is a tuition-free institution that is set to support the government in achieving a higher education for all in the critical areas of national development. The IOU was first given a provisional license to operate in 2014 and granted a three-year provisional institutional accreditation in 2019.

The institute operates in over 229 countries with over 600,000 students worldwide, and it has its headquarters in The Gambia.

The IOU presently provides undergraduate training to teachers across the country to meet the policy needs of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in strengthening the quality of education at the secondary level and increasing the pass rate at the WASSCE. It also provides scholarships to needy students through its One Million Africa Scholarship project, called 1MAS.

Dr. Gibril Jaw, the CEO of NAQAA, has confirmed that all the other remaining IOU programmes will be given due consideration for accreditation soon.


Source: International Open University

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