Plans are underway to increase the capacity of local construction firms to boost their competitiveness and increase the industry’s contribution towards the country’s infrastructural development.
Local firms risk losing out to foreign companies in the process of bidding for tenders, especially road construction if they do not strengthen their capacity, particularly in areas related to access to finance.
The Minister of Infrastructure, Albert Nsengiyumva, said that local firm’s lack of access to finance limits their capacity to acquire modern equipment used in road construction.
“Through Rwanda Development Bank (RDB), we shall have a grant where these firms can get access to finance and buy the necessary equipment to compete in the local market,” Nsengiyunva said.
Lack of access to finance does not only holdup local firms but also slows national infrastructural development.
Government will also support local training institutions to encourage training of contractors.
“It is also important that we link these firms to have partnerships with international construction firms as it will also help in building on their expertise,” the Minister said.
The Vice Chairman of Rwanda Association of Building and Civil Work Contractors, Dedeki Papias Kazawadi, commended the move saying it would prop up the industry.
However, Dedeki, who also doubles as the Managing Director of Star Construction Company Ltd, said that there is need to develop a legal framework to help streamline their activities.
“There is no legal way to protect or go about with stakeholders going against professionalism,” Dedeki said.
He noted that if the Rwanda National Construction Industry Policy drafted in 2009 was approved, the industry would have legal structures.
Dedeki added that: “This would have created various boards to protect best practices by taking legal measures against unlawful acts.”