By FLAVIOR CHISHALA -
LOCAL Government and Housing Minister Emerine Kabanshi has called for increased financing of human settlements and legislative frameworks to promote the provision of adequate and affordable housing.
Ms Kabanshi has since encouraged the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (AMCHUD) and other stakeholders to continue providing technical support and follow up progress on the region’s commitments in relation to financing of human settlements.
Speaking at the closing of the AMCHUD held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka on Wednesday, Ms Kabanshi said there was need for continued monitoring of action plans to enable countries to speed up progress towards reaching the goal of adequate shelter for all.
Ms Kabanshi said the countries represented at the conference had effectively coordinated their efforts, one of which was developing sustainable frameworks.
“We need to place sustainable human settlements high on our agenda and promote innovative approaches as well as pro-poor housing policy frameworks and legislation as elements of our national development strategies.
“Let us also align the AMCHUD Southern African Region Conference recommendations and commitments to promoting sustainable human settlements,” she said.
She said the just-ended AMCHUD conference was important in that it accorded the region an opportunity to prepare and to have a concerted voice and action oriented recommendations for the 5th AMCHUD to be held in Ndjamena, Chad, from February 25-28, 2014.
Speaking at the same event, Swaziland’s Housing and Urban Development Minister Phiwayinkonsi Mabuza said the purpose of the meeting was to put together the common position which would enable the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to improve the housing sector and development of urban infrastructure.
Mr Mabuza said there were high interest rates on borrowing in southern Africa and that the period for paying back was too short, hence the need to introduce a funding bank that would help SADC countries to have access to finance.
“It is very expensive to borrow money in southern Africa, so we need a bank that will help us access finances for improving our housing sectors and urban development,” he said.