The Minister of Water Re-sources, Works and Housing, Dr Kwaku Agyemang- Mensah, has been elected Chairman of Shelter Afrique at its 34th Annual General Meeting.
He succeeds La Cote d’Iviore’s Minister of Construction, Housing and Urban Planning, Mahamadu Sanogo, and will steer the affairs of the organisation in charge of providing financial and technical support for affordable housing on the African continent for a year.
Delivering his acceptance speech, Dr. Agyemang-Mensah urged the Board of Directors to re-strategise and get the organisation out of its financial difficulties saying, “Shelter Afrique is an asset of the continent and we should collectively ensure that it grows from strength to strength”.
He said the institution had not been able to declare dividend for member countries because of its difficult financial circumstances.
“We should consider a review of the institution’s corporate governance structure in order to attract more members to seek new partnership having in mind the core mandate of Shelter Afrique as an Pan African Bank for Housing,” the new chairman of the Shelter Afrique said.
Noting the critical role of Shelter Afrique in assisting respective governments to deliver on affordable housing to the rapidly expanding populations in African towns and cities,
Dr. Agyeman-Mensah said Ghana remains resolute in its determination to empower the organisation to deliver on its mandate.
He urged member countries to look at renting as a legitimate option to solving the housing crises on the continent, hinting that Ghana was in the process of reviewing its Rent Control Act to make it more effective in protecting tenants from arbitrary rent increase.
Touching on Public Private Partnership in housing delivery, the new chairman said experience had shown that partnership between the government and the private sector players could deliver the kind of large scale projects that would have impact on the society.
The next AGM of the organisation is scheduled to take place in Nigeria next year where Dr. Agyemang- Mensah would hand over the baton of leadership to the host country.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman