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, and which will be applicable across its 44 member states.
Speaking at a Ministerial and Board retreat held in Nairobi recently, Shelter Afrique’s Managing Director & CEO, Mr. Thierno-Habib Hann, said that “these documents have significant impact on the operations of an institution like Shelter Afrique.” Thus, the need for urgent review.
“We would like to have a harmonized document that ensures smooth operations of the company and fosters a healthier relationship between Management and Staff and Management and the Board of Directors,” Mr. Hann said.
Inconsistencies and gaps
The international lawyer, Mr. 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 harmonize 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,” Mr. Gadio said.
“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,” Mr. Gadio added.
Mr. 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,” Mr. Bucha said.
“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,” Mr. Bucha added.
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 would be part of the Company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held in Abuja, Nigeria, from May 8 to 11, 2023.
“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,” Amb. Oyateru said.