Construction sector lacks professionals

Despite the boom in the construction sector that has partly led to the recent high growth rates in the real economy the sector is still challenged with low levels of professionals, leading to lack dynamism, according to the Minister of Infrastructure.
Constractors accused of  producing shoddy work. (File photo)
Constractors accused of producing shoddy work. (File photo)

Despite the boom in the construction sector that has partly led to the recent high growth rates in the real economy the sector is still challenged with low levels of professionals, leading to lack dynamism, according to the Minister of Infrastructure.

Linda Bihire told Business Times hat most personnel in the sector are unskilled, calling them “gamblers” who produced poor quality work.

Bihire said that the challenge ranges from contractors, consultants and supervisor engineers.

In a move to improve capacity, government advises international contractors to have joint ventures with local companies and also take utilize government’s continuous training programmes for supervisor engineers.

The ministry of infrastructure is in the process of classifying contractors in three categories to know which contractor is best for what.

“The classification will depend on financial capacity, experience and equipment available. This will help to identify who to contact for major works, Bihire said.

Other challenges mentioned include lack of raw materials like iron, bars, and cement which contributes to high costs associated with transportation and housing.

Cimerwa, Rwanda’s leading cement manufacturer intends to bridge the gap by constructing a new 600,000 tonne capacity annually.

The company’s current plant manages only 100,000 tonnes annually, causing a huge cement deficit that necessitates heavy imports.

Bihire said government has an incentive of flat tax to whoever is investing $1.8m to encourage people invest in construction.

In an effort to formalize the sector, housing and road construction has been standardized.

Recently, cabinet approved the law regulating road network which is expected to improve road network in the country. Government also formulated an urban housing policy which is geared towards achieving its development goals.

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