Kenya signs a joint declaration seeking to enhance mechanisms for the mass construction of decent and affordable housing in the continent to achieve social and economic development.
The ‘Yaoundé Declaration’ was issued at the 40thAnnual General Assembly of Shelter Afrique held in Yaoundé Cameroon from 21 to 24 June 2021.
In attendance were African Ministers and Heads of Delegation of Ministries in charge of Housing and Urban Development, African Finance Ministers, the Directors and Management of Shelter Afrique, and international, regional, and national institutions the private sector and civil society.
Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Andrew Chimphondah stated that the YaoundéDeclaration was a game-changer for Africa.
“Our research estimates housing shortage in Africa to be at 56 million housing units. Over 90 percent are in the affordable housing bracket. The solution to resolving this shortage lies in a well-coordinated and collaborative effort among all stakeholders. It includes governments, multilateral institutions, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. I’m happy that the Yaoundé Declaration has highlighted some of these challenges. Stakeholders, including governments, are now willing to address the shortage as a matter of urgency,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Various factors have driven many African countries into the housing crisis. They include:
• High population growth
• Increased urbanization
• Poor urban planning
• Dysfunctional land markets
• Rising construction costs
• The proliferation of informal settlements
• Underdeveloped financial systems
The declaration will address issues of leadership and governance, policies and legislation, coordination, land systems, finance and taxation, capacity building, and the adoption of new building technologies.
“Effective policy and legislation are critical in addressing all these challenges. It will tackle issues around quality control in the delivery of decent and affordable housing, provision of housing to the vulnerable groups, the land tenure system, adoption of construction technologies, and even financing,” Mr. Chimphondah said.
Six-member team was appointed to be headed by Shelter Afrique Head of Legal Services, Ms. Houda Boudlali, and UN-Habitat Regional Advisor Dr. Claude Albert Meutchehe Ngomsi facilitators.
Each Member State will designate an interlocutor to report their commendations to the monitoring group members towards the next meeting in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.