Uhuru Kenyatta, President Kenya emphasized the importance of housing and construction sector in the post-Covid recovery plans during the Shelter Afrique’s 39th AGM and Symposium in Nairobi.
Reading a speech on his behalf at the opening ceremony, the Cabinet Secretary Infrastructure, roads, housing and urban development, Mr James Macharia, Uhuru Kenyatta said despite the severe impact the sector has experienced due to economic slowdown, the sector can rebound quickly.
“The construction sector can therefore be targeted to lead the rebound in the broader economy. Economic history teaches us that the construction sector, including housing construction, has been very effective in driving economic recovery. Housing construction provides excellent opportunities for job creation,” President Kenyatta said, adding that while the construction sector requires significant capital, record-low interest rates have made the cost of financing construction projects remarkably affordable.
“The affordable housing agenda should remain front and centre in the economic recovery debate due to the need to provide decent housing and essential infrastructure to all residents, especially the vulnerable populations living in slums and informal settlements,” said President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Shelter Afrique’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chimphondah noted that large scale housing delivered by Private-Public-Partnerships (PPPs) is vital for injecting much-needed capital into the economy.
“Since the beginning of the crisis, we have advocated that the construction of large-scale housing and related infrastructure can be the driver for economic revival in the Post-COVID era. This belief is reflected in the theme for the annual symposium and AGM, Affordable Housing Delivery as an Economic Revival Strategy in the COVID 19 Era in Africa,” Mr Chimphondah said.
He also added that the delivery of large-scale construction is imperative because it will reabsorb this neglected sector into active employment as well as having the capacity to absorb other sectors too and downstream business.
Established by African governments, Shelter-Afrique is a pan African housing finance and development institution which aims at addressing the need for a sustainable housing delivery system and related infrastructure projects in the continent. The institution has 44 African countries as shareholders as well as the African Development Bank and the African Re-Insurance Corporation.