Shelter Afrique seeks review of key statutory documents

Thierno-Habib Hann, Managing Director and CEO of Shelter Afrique at a Ministerial and Board retreat held in Nairobi. [Nanjinia Wamuswa, Standard]

Pan-African housing development financier Shelter Afrique is seeking to review and harmonise the statutory documents that established the institution, citing inconsistencies in its constitutive documents.

The company is also seeking a review of the host country agreement to incorporate diplomatic privileges and concessions as enshrined in the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations of 1961, which will be applicable across its 44 member states.  

Speaking at a Ministerial and Board retreat held in Nairobi recently, Shelter Afrique chief executive Thierno-Habib Hann said that the documents have a significant impact on the operations of an institution such as Shelter Afrique and hence the need for urgent review.

“We would like to have a harmonised document that ensures smooth operations of the company and fosters a healthier relationship between management and staff and management and the board of directors,” said Hann.

The international lawyer, Kalidou Gadio of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP International Law Firm, the lead partner who was contracted by Shelter Afrique to review its statutory documents said that the process should involve the diagnosis of all the institutional instruments, ranging from the memorandum of understanding that was signed between 1981-1982, to the Statutes that were later adopted.


“These constitutive documents, notably the Protocol Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities and the Statutes, seem to constitute shortcomings, gaps, and inconsistencies. In other words, there may be a provision in the Statutes that is not in harmony with the provisions of the Geneva Convention on the same subject.”

“So, there is a need to harmonise and ensure that there are no contradictions and also there are many of them when we would have needed only one document like a Charter instead of three,” said Gadio.

He added: “Also, the provisions found in these documents no longer reflect good practice. In other words, today’s international institutions are governed by provisions that better serve the purpose for which these institutions were created.”

Patrick Bucha, the former Housing Secretary who represented Kenya at the retreat, confirmed that the Kenyan government had received the proposal seeking to make changes to the host country agreement. 

“Shelter Afrique was established over 40 years ago and a lot has changed, hence the justification to review the documents to be in line with the current realities. As a host country, we believe we’ve provided a conducive environment and adequate support. Nonetheless, we’ll review the proposed changes to the host country agreement, which has been presented to us,” said Bucha.

“As a Ministry, we will work closely with the National Treasury, as well as the Office of the Attorney General to evaluate the extent to which the proposed changes could affect the country’s immigration laws.”

Ambassador Akin Oyateru who was one of the Nigeria delegates at the Board retreat in Nairobi said that a report of the review of the Statutes will be part of the Company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held in Abuja, Nigeria during the week of 8th to 11th May.

“We have made the report on the statutory document review as one of the main items in the 2023 AGM agenda because we believe it will address the issue of corporate governance. This is because if you don’t get right with governance even the best strategy can go awry.”