China’s growing influence in Africa: How the continent’s real estate sector is changing


Shelter Afrique, Pan-African housing development financier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with two Chinese construction firms to scale up the development of large-scale affordable housing projects in Kenya and its member States.

The two Chinese construction firms are Amberton International Holdings and Sichuan Huashi Enterprise Corporations E.A. LTD, with the MoU expected to boost Shelter Afrique’s mandate of providing decent and affordable housing in Africa.

The MoU was signed by Andrew Chimphondah, Shelter Afrique Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Yu, Amberton International Holdings Director and Sichuan Huashi Enterprise Corporations E.A. LTD Managing Director Cao Zheng.

“As a company, our overriding strategy is the provision of affordable housing across our member States through public-private partnerships.  This strategic partnership with Amberton and Huashi will be key in expanding our projects across the continent as we draw from the experiences of the two companies. Shelter Afrique will work closely with Amberton International Holdings as a co-developer for specific large-scale, low-cost housing projects in Africa, which will be constructor by Sichuan Huashi Enterprise Corporations E.A. LTD,” Mr Chimphondah said.

He also added that some projects had been identified in Kenya and in other markets Nigeria where Shelter Afrique has existing project pipelines such as Rwanda, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and Senegal.

“Already we are in the process of securing a few projects in Kenya with the Department of Defense, the Kenya Police and the Civil Service, for which we expect to break ground this year. These take-off projects will be aligned with Kenya government affordable housing plan under the Big 4 Agenda, which seeks to develop 500,000 housing units by 2022,” Mr Chimphondah said.

He also added that most of the countries in Africa are already facing a housing crisis with the overall housing shortage estimated at 56 million housing units across the continent, with more than 90 per cent of this in affordable housing bracket.

“We believe our partnership with Amberton and Huashi will deepen our impact on Kenya’s and by extension, Africa’s affordable housing value chain, in particular, the supply side,” said Mr Chimphondah.

Shelter-Afrique is owned by 44 African countries, the African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa-Re) and the African Development Bank (AFDB).

Also Read: Nigeria increases stake in Shelter Afrique with $29.3m

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