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Shelter-Afrique, state housing firm sign US $800,000 loan deal

The Company for Habitat and Housing in Africa, Shelter-Afrique, has signed a US $800,000 loan agreement with a Burundi state-owned firm to build 48 apartments in Kigobe, a suburb of the capital, Bujumbura.

"This loan is the first to be granted to Burundi by Shelter-Afrique," the firm said.

Shelter-Afrique, headquartered in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, said the deal was signed on Friday for the construction of three apartment blocks five kilometres from Bujumbura. The project take 15 months to complete.

Kigobe is already the site of a military hospital, a conference centre, the national headquarters of the public security agencies, secondary schools and land reserved for an Olympic stadium.
"All these facilities are situated within 500 metres of the site [of the apartment blocks], thus making it an ideal location for potential buyers," Shelter-Afrique said.

The two- and three-bedroom apartments will be sold on the open market on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Shelter-Afrique loan accounts for 50 percent of the project's cost, while the state corporation, SIP, will bear the remainder. The Burundi state owns 87.5 percent of SIP, the Societe de gestion et de participation 7.5 percent and the Bank of the Republic of Burundi 5 percent.

SIP was set up in 1979 and has built some 1,642 housing units in Burundi, the most significant of which are in Kamenge, Mutanga, Ngagara 6 Extension and Gitega. Shelter-Afrique provides loans, not grants, ranging from $300,000 to $2.5 million to housing developers. It has projects in 25 countries across Africa.

[ Website: www.shelterafrique.org ]

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