African countries continue to struggle amidst a growing deficit in the provision of decent and affordable housing for their citizens.
With the cumulative housing deficit reaching over 50 million units, there is a need for sustained impetus and collaboration among key partners and players to bridge the gap.
As a Pan-African supranational institution created to support member countries to solve this challenge, Shelter Afrique believes that with the right funding structure, collaboration, and smart partnerships among the States, private sector players and multilateral development agencies, the objective can be achieved.
The key, however, lies in the mobilisation of the right quality funding structure, and effective and honest deployment of the borrowed funds into targeted housing programmes.
The right and quality funding structure would entail parameters such as longer-tenure financing, low-interest rates, adequate grace periods, sufficient quantum, and funding that is readily available and easily accessible.
Over the years of providing such funding to real estate developers and State agencies, Shelter Afrique believes that in guaranteeing an effective and honest deployment of borrowed funds into the targeted affordable housing programmes; the receiving institutions must embody good corporate governance practices.
The institutions must be seen and perceived to be governed properly, with values and norms that espouse good governance structures and practices.
What, then, is good governance in the context of mobilisation of appropriate and quality debt capital? The answer lies in three key factors - having the right governance structures and processes, systems and tools, and the right sustained practice that depicts good governance.
Having the right governance structures involve designing and institutionalising structures that include a board of directors, board sub-committees, executive management committee and sub-committees, business functions and internal audit. These structures are key and give life to a firm. They are the engines that drive the business and must be structured under the best practices that underpin the industry.
Global governance standards such as the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance, and King IV Code of Governance among others are key in shaping the design and framing of these structures. Institutions should look beyond their industry and regulatory requirements.
The writer is the Head of Enterprise Risk Management at Shelter Afrique