Seven African states meet in Windhoek to discuss shelter

27 Sep 2017 21:00pm
WINDHOEK, 27 SEP (NAMPA) - Representatives from seven southern African countries including Namibia attended the Shelter Afrique regional meeting which concluded in Windhoek on Wednesday.
The representatives from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia and Mauritius attended the two-day meeting which started on Tuesday to discuss and reaffirm shared the recognition of the right of citizens to decent and affordable housing and shelter.
Minister of Urban and Rural Development, in a speech delivered by Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Derek Klazen, noted that the delivery and availability of affordable housing and serviced land are key issues that continue to feature prominently in public discourse in Namibia and other developing countries.
“Housing has gained prominence as one of the key national development priorities and an important vehicle for addressing poverty and inequality as well as for bringing about social and economic advancement to ensure political stability,” said Shaningwa.
She added that inadequate and unequal access to housing and urban land, if not addressed properly, can be divisive and a potential source of disharmony.
“Solutions to our housing and urban land challenges cannot be left to Government alone, but is a collective responsibility for us all,” she said.
On his part, Zambian Minister of Transport, Infrastructure Housing and Urban Development, Ronald Chitotela expressed his country’s commitment to clear up the housing deficit, through the current production of 73 000 units annually.
“Zambia’s vision, therefore, is to reduce its projected 3.3 million housing deficit by more than half by 2030,” Chitotela said.
He explained that the current housing deficit is over 1.5 million units and is expected to rise to about 3. 3 million units by 2030.
The event was also attended by the Governor of the Khomas Region, Laura McLeod-Katjirua, senior government officials and stakeholders in housing development from Namibia.
This was the first meeting between member states of the Shelter Afrique.