Setting the Agenda: African Housing and Urban Development Leadership

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In a groundbreaking and visionary step that promises to reshape the landscape of African housing and urban development, the shareholders of Shelter Afrique have enthusiastically embraced revised Statutes, opening the door to a remarkable transformation of the pan-African housing and urban development financier into a dynamic Development Bank. This historic decision was made at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) recently convened in Algiers, Algeria.

The evolution of Shelter Afrique into Shelter Afrique Development Bank (ShafDB) signifies more than a mere alteration in nomenclature; it stands as a monumental milestone in the saga of African housing and urban development. Within this write-up, we will look into the intricacies of this extraordinary accomplishment and the profound implications it carries for the continent’s future beginning from Algeria as the need for housing reaches the front burner on the continent.


The EGM in Algiers was nothing short of historic, drawing key figures in African governance and development. His Excellency Aymen Benabderrahmane, Prime Minister of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, inaugurated the opening ceremony, emphasizing the importance of this event in shaping the future of housing development financing in Africa. He was joined by four Cabinet Ministers of Finance, Trade and Export Promotion, Infrastructure, and the Minister of Housing, Urbanism, and the City.

The gathering convened under the inspiring theme of “Transforming Shelter Afrique into a Development Bank for Sustainable Affordable Housing and Urban Development in Africa.” This theme brought together visionary leaders who graciously hosted the event. His Excellency Mohamed Tarek Belaribi, Minister of Housing, Urbanism, and the City of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, played a crucial role as the host.

Architect Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of Housing and Urban Development, presided over the deliberations as the Chair of the General Assembly Bureau. The first Vice-President of the General Assembly Bureau, represented by Mr. Edward Kyazze from the Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure, Urbanization & Housing Department, delivered the vote of thanks.


In his opening address, H.E. Arc. Dangiwa stressed the significance of the 2023 EGM and its role in shaping Shelter Afrique’s future. He commended the company’s leadership, recognizing the remarkable work of the Board and Management Team in steering the organization toward growth, profitability, and a more substantial impact on housing development across the continent.


The Board Chair, Dr. Chii Akporji, expressed her gratitude, stating, “Our heartfelt appreciation extends to Algeria, the host country of this pivotal EGM that ratified these transformative changes, as well as to our 44 Member Countries, the African Development Bank, Africa-Re, our esteemed Board of Directors, and the dedicated staff of ShafDB. Their invaluable contributions have culminated in this historic milestone.”


The renaming of Shelter Afrique to Shelter Afrique Development Bank (ShafDB) signifies a renewed sense of purpose, solidifying the financier’s status as a transformative and sustainable development bank exclusively dedicated to advancing urban housing and related infrastructure development across Africa.


“The impact of this transformation will be evident through concrete metrics such as increased housing unit financing and construction, improved access to decent, sustainable, and affordable housing, and positions ShafDB on a progressive path towards the execution of our strategic plan (”The New Dawn”),” says the Managing Director, Thierno-Habib Hann.


Key Highlights of ShafDB’s Transformation

International Alignment:


The new Agreement aligns the Bank with international standards, granting the institution a leading position among housing sector financiers and placing it on par with peer Development Finance institutions (DFIs). The diversification of the shareholding and Board composition into Class A (African States), Class B (African Institutions), and Class C (International and Private sector) will ensure financial sustainability and best-in-class Corporate Governance.


Enhance Housing Development Impact and Shareholder Value:


The Bank will generate and maintain robust positive financial returns by posting and monitoring key performance indicators on liquidity, profitability, asset quality, efficiency, and productivity. ShafDB’s strategic vision is to expand its portfolio offerings to include thematic areas across the housing value chain, such as Green/Climate/Resilience, Gender, Jobs (SMEs/Trade), Trunk Infrastructure, Islamic finance, IDPs (Migrants/Refugees), and Diaspora. This expansion will be achieved through specialized funds in the Asset Management business.


Improve Organizational Sustainability:


The repositioning of ShafDB through the revision of its Statutes will further strengthen its adherence to the highest standards of Corporate Governance and align the Bank’s structures with international frameworks and best practices. The inclusion of an Advisory Board composed of representatives of the Ministry of Finance and international experts will enhance the strategic and financial management capabilities of the Bank.


Shelter Afrique Development Bank (ShafDB) is a Pan-African institution solely dedicated to financing and promoting housing, urban, and related infrastructure development across the African continent. ShafDB operates through a partnership involving 44 African Governments, as well as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Reinsurance Corporation (Africa-Re).

Shelter Afrique Development Bank delivers financial solutions and associated services that support both the supply and demand aspects of the affordable housing value chain. As a premier provider of financial, advisory, and research solutions, ShafDB focuses on addressing Africa’s housing crisis through financial institutions, project finance, and public-private partnerships, striving to achieve sustainable developmental impact.


The transformation of Shelter Afrique into Shelter Afrique Development Bank represents a significant step towards a brighter future for affordable housing and urban development in Africa. It aligns the institution with international standards, enhances its impact, and ensures organizational sustainability. As Africa continues to grow and develop, ShafDB has positioned itself through dedication to providing sustainable solutions to the housing crisis and urban development challenges on the continent.

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