General News Tue, 17 Jan 2012

Partnership with Shelter Afrique not replacement of STX deal-Dr Ahmed

Accra, Jan. 17, GNA – Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing on Tuesday said government’s partnership with Shelter Afrique, a Pan African financial institution, was not a replacement of the STX Housing Project.

Speaking to newsmen in Accra, he said the country stood the chance of benefiting further than the STX housing project sought to provide, adding that the speculations of Shelter Afrique’s (SA) partnership with the Government was not a substitute as was being speculated by a section of the media. The Government on Monday announced that it was partnering SA, a Pan African facilitator of housing projects to improve upon housing delivery, and reduce the current housing stock deficit, which stands at about 1.5 million. When a team from SA paid a courtesy call on President John Evans Atta Mills in Accra, he reassured Ghanaians of Government's determination to provide affordable housing to the people, hence its decision to become shareholders in the Pan African institution.

Dr Ahmed saw the reportage in some sections of the media as suggesting that the partnership was a replacement of the STX deal which was at the edge of collapse due to reported internal wranglings.

The project was meant to provide housing units for the nation’s security personnel.

Dr Ahmed said Ghana was the 43rd member to be admitted to the SA family. Mr Alassane BÂ, Managing Director of SA, said the team from his outfit was in the country to build partnership with the Government, to erect a pipeline for the project and to understudy the financial environment and market of housing projects in the country.

Mr BÂ lauded the Government for demonstrating political willingness to empower the citizenry to own houses.

He said SA was committed towards helping Ghana reduce the current housing deficit stock.

Mr BÂ said SA was determined to work with government to use public, private partnership approach to effectively implement social housing policies. “I believe the time has arrived for African countries to take up the responsibility to meet the obligations of social housing to its citizens,” he added.

Mr BÂ described the role of SA as that of advising governments to build capacity to make success of delivery of their housing policies; provide funding and partner governments to deliver affordable housing services to the citizenry. Dr Alexander B. Tweneboa, President of Ghana Real Estates Developers Association (GREDA) lauded the Government’s initiative of joining the SA. He admitted that private estate developers found it difficult to venture into the domain of social housing and expressed optimism that SA would provide good leadership and assistance in the sector.

SA was established in 1982 with the mandate of mobilising resources for housing development in Africa.

The company came into existence against the background of the acute housing shortages prevalent in most African countries and the urgent need for African Governments to pool resources to tackle the problems. It has served an instrument for the mobilisation of financial and technical resources deployed for funding housing development in Africa.

Source: GNA