By Kingsley Adegboye with Agency report

With the current cumulative housing deficit reaching over 50 million housing units and growing across Africa, there is a need for sustained impetus and collaboration among key partners and players in the housing industry to bridge the gap, Mr Bernard Oketch, Head of Enterprise Risk Management at Shelter Afrique, has said

According to Oketch, “As a pan-African supranational institution created to support member countries in solving this challenge, Shelter Afrique believes that with the right funding structure, effective collaboration, and smart partnerships amongst the states, private sector players and multilateral development funding agencies, the objective can be achieved progressively.

“The key, however, lies with mobilization of the right and quality funding structure, and effective and honest deployment of the borrowed funds into the respective targeted housing programmes.

“The right and quality funding structure would entail key parameters such as longer-tenure financing, low-interest rates, adequate grace periods, sufficient quantum, and funding that is readily available and easily accessible.

“Over the years of providing such funding to a diverse set of real estate developers and state-owned agencies in the African countries where we operate, Shelter Afrique has observed that to guarantee an effective and honest deployment of borrowed funds into the targeted affordable housing programmes; the receiving institutions (whether developers or state-owned agencies) must embody good corporate governance practices.

“Simply put, the institutions must be seen and perceived to be governed properly, with values and norms that espouse good governance structures and practices”.

Examining the key fundamentals, he asked, what, then, is good governance in the context of mobilization of appropriate and quality debt capital?

“The answer lies in three key fundamental factors that include: having the right governance structures; the right governance processes, systems, and tools; and the right sustained practice that depicts good governance.