By Wallace Mawire
HARARE,ZIMBABWE-Zimbabwe is set to host the Shelter Afrique 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) following the country’s former hosting of the 36th AGM in Victoria Falls five years back.
The Government of Zimbabwe represented by the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Honourable Daniel Garwe and Shelter Afrique represented by Managing Director Andrew Chimbondah signed a Hosting Agreement for the Shelter Afrique 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday 11 February 2022. The AGM will be held under the theme: Climate Change and the Built Environment.”
Minister Garwe pointed out that the hosting of the AGM by the country demonstrates the renewed interest in Zimbabwe which will provide a chance for the government to leverage on the opportunity in shaping the narrative towards robust human settlement delivery strategies.
The 41st Annual General Assembly is earmarked for 25 to 30 July 2022 in Victoria Falls.It is reported that the agreement spells out that the Annual General Meeting, a ministerial roundtable and interlinked business activities as some of the events which will constitute part of the proceedings.
It is also reported that the government of Zimbabwe is expected to ensure effective organisation and success of the meetings, by undertaking to contribute to the physical arrangements which include country entry requirements, to provide premises for hosting, transport for designated officials, equipment required during conferencing, to meet COVID-19 related protocols for delegates and custom related formalities.
Speaking prior to the signing ceremony, Honourable Daniel Garwe who is also the first Vice Chairperson of the Bureau, commended the Managing Director Andrew Chombondah for leading a delegation to Zimbabwe and noted that the move demonstrated his conviction in the country as an ideal destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
He explained that Zimbabwe joined Shelter-Afrique in November 1993 and since then, the organisation has invested $58.2 million in Zimbabwe through nine separate facilities.
He pointed out the gains to be accrued by Zimbabwe through hosting the AGM which include regional integration, tourism and business linkages and thanked Shelter Afrique for bestowing trust upon Zimbabwe as a nation by selecting it as a venue of choice.
On his part, Mr Chimphondah said the signing of the host agreement was very significant as it highlighted Shelter Afrique’s role as a catalyst in the industry and its ability to leverage partnerships.
He explained that this was envisioned to be delivered through Private-Public-Partnerships (PPPs) with the Urban Development Corporation (UDCORP).
‘We have found success with this in our member countries and believe Zimbabwe is the ideal location for this’, he said.
Chimphondah thanked the government of Zimbabwe for committing to hosting the 41st AGM.
He stressed that this would be an opportunity for the government to shape and lead the conversation on affordable housing in the region.
In reference to the AGM theme, he referred to the Glasgow Conference of Parties (COP 26) held last year as an impetus to the need for a built environment which relates to climate change.
He emphasised that housing played an important role in that regard, and Africa had a role to play, which is why the proposed theme for the 41st AGM is Climate Change and the Built Environment.
Chimphondah acknowledged the unique location for the AGM, “I believe that it will be a unique AGM, if for no other reason, there are very few places in the world that have the majesty of Victoria Falls”.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Cabinet Ministers, Senior Government Officials, and representatives from the financial service sector and organisations within the housing delivery spectrum.
Hon. Daniel Garwe, assumed the 1st Vice Chairpersonship of the Shelter Afrique Bureau in 2021 and will succeed Cameroon as Chairman during the 41st Annual General Meeting.
More than 200 guests are expected to attend the AGM and interlinked activities drawn from the 44 member countries. An international Exhibition is also envisaged at attracting several exhibitors from across the world.
Shelter Afrique is a Pan-African organization for habitat,international housing finance and development institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
The organization also has offices in Cote D’Ivoire and Nigeria.It is backed by 44 member countries as well as three institutional investors, the African Development Bank (AFDB),Africa Reinsurance Company and the African Solidarity Fund (ASF).
The organization has grown from 17 member countries in 1981 to 44 members and three institutional partners.
It is reported that the AGM will host a round-table session for African housing and finance ministers with a focus on reserve and central bank governors.It is added that the multilateral summits provide an opportunity for the host country to promote their local content.An international exhibition is also expected to be hosted alongside the AGM.