BancABC Zimbabwe, the local banking subsidiary of Pan African Group Atlas Mara and The Company of Habitat and Housing in Africa, also known as Shelter Afrique have today signed a US$7 million line of credit for the development of housing. The US$7 million deal is in addition to a US$4 million deal the two parties agreed upon a few weeks ago. The two facilities worth US$11 million will fund the construction of 2,500 houses for low to middle-income earners.
The line of credit has been extended at a time when the Ministry of Housing and Social Amenities has moved to reduce the national housing deficit. The housing backlog in Zimbabwe has grown significantly in the last few years, with official figures showing that Zimbabwe has a deficit of around 1,3 million houses. The demand for housing in Zimbabwe has risen whilst access to housing finance remains limited. The shortage of housing has largely impacted low to middle-income households which has led to the rapid sprouting of illegal urban settlements, slums, and backyard shacks. Through this agreement, BancABC will offer mortgages for the development of much-needed housing developments.
BancABC and Shelter Afrique have a history of delivering on developmental projects, in 2011, the two extended loans worth US$7 million for the construction of 150 houses. In 2015, Shelter Afrique extended US$5 million to BancABC which was used to finance trade activities of importers and exporters of building materials and equipment.
Mr Kuria Njinu, the Chief Legal Officer of Shelter Afrique who flew in from Kenya to sign the deal emphasised Shelter Afrique’s goal of assisting in housing and real estate development in Africa. “This credit line will assist in addressing the housing backlog in Zimbabwe, the extension of this facility to BancABC reaffirms our commitment to providing affordable housing solutions for Africa”, stated Mr. Njinu.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Lance Mambondiani, BancABC CEO said, “We are once again pleased to partner with Shelter Afrique on a project of such magnitude, because of the many lives it will impact. Our Corporate and Investment Banking team has been working on putting this deal together and today we are proud to sign off on it”. Dr. Mambondiani also took the opportunity to congratulate Shelter Afrique on their 40th anniversary. In the past 40 years, the institution has approved investments worth USD$1.207 billion and completed over 17,572 projects with governments and banks across Africa.