Lewis Njoka @LewisNjoka Kenya has become the largest shareholder in the pan-African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique, after increasing its shareholding to 18.72 per cent. Shelter Afrique said it has received Sh992.8 billion ($9.2 million) additional capital contribution from the government. The fresh injection puts Kenya ahead of Nigeria and Africa Development Bank which own 13.71 and 13.25 per cent shareholding respectively. Andrew Chimphondah, Shelter Afrique\u2019s CEO lauded the Kenyan government for its continuous financial and diplomatic support that has seen the company achieve its turn-around plan in time. \u201cWe are grateful to the Kenyan government for its continued support and the importance it has placed on affordable housing.\u00a0 We are particularly grateful to the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury Ukur Yatani for demonstrating this support through honouring this significant payment,\u201d he said in statement. \u201cEven with the Covid-19 pandemic Kenya has shown willingness to sustain its support for Shelter Afrique by honouring its pledge. This is a vote of confidence by Kenya in the strength of the Company,\u201d said Chimphondah. Other shareholders \u201cWe also wish to thank several other shareholders such as Nigeria, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda Uganda, Togo, Zimbabwe Morocco, Lesotho, Swaziland, Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo who have responded positively to the call for recapitalisation,\u201d he added. Churchill Ogutu, the head of research at Genghis Capital, says the move puts Kenya in a pole position to benefit from Shelter Afrique\u2019s financing considering the company has its headquarters in Nairobi. \u201cI\u2019m not sure whether the shareholding is proportionate to the number of loans you get but if that is the case, Kenya will be a major beneficiary in the loans expended by Shelter Afrique,\u201d he said. The announcement came on the heels of Kenya joining 24 other countries in signing a joint declaration that seeks to enhance mechanisms for mass production of decent and affordable housing on the continent. The pact known as the Yaounde Declaration signed during Shelter Afrique\u2019s 40th annual general meeting in Cameroon at the end of last month. Kenya was represented by Transport, Infrastructure,\u00a0Housing\u00a0Cabinet Secretary James Macharia in the meeting that brought together ministers in charge of housing and urban development in the region. Other countries that adopted the resolution include Algeria, Burundi, Mali, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the DRC, Burkina Faso and Ghana. The declaration is centered on addressing issues of leadership and governance, policies and legislation, coordination, land systems, finance, taxation, capacity building and the adoption of new building technologies. In 2013 and 2017 Shelter Afrique shareholders signed up to recapitalize the company through additional equity subscriptions. Additional pledge \u00a0The company received Sh1.1 billion ($9.8 million) in 2019 with Kenya leading the contributions with Sh345.3 million ($3.2 million) and additional pledge of Sh2.9 billion ($26.9 million) it made at the 39th Annual General Meeting held in Nairobi last year. Macharia, promised Kenya would make the remaining balance of Sh1.8 billion ($16.9 million) capital payment before the end of 2021.