Rwandan engineers push to professionalise construction industry

Sunday February 11 2018

A building under construction in Kigali.

A building under construction in Kigali. Engineers in Rwanda wants players in the building and construction industry forced to provide their credentials and those of the firms they work for in a new push to implement the law governing the profession. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NATION 

By JOHNSON KANAMUGIRE
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The institution of Engineers Rwanda wants players in the building and construction industry forced to provide their credentials and those of the firms they work for in a new push to implement the law governing the profession.

The law governing architects and engineers, enacted six years ago, compels local and foreign builders to register with the institute before they can undertake any construction work in the country.

However, the professional body raised the alarm over continuous breach and largely blamed employers who make no effort to verify those who provide architecture or engineering services.

“We have written to all public and private institutions requesting to have the names of engineers they employ, projects they are working on, their location and area of expertise,” Papias Kazawadi, the president of the council, told Rwanda Today, adding that the institutions had 30 days to respond.

“In case they refuse to co-operate we shall take the case to the prosecution authority for action,” he added.

Currently there are over 1,000 registered engineers, but according to the council this figure is far below those in the workforce who are working without accreditation.

Mr Kazawadi said lack of registration also undermined standards and safety of buildings; made it difficult to get appropriate data to guide growth of the industry or enforce a requirement for skills transfer by international firms carrying out mega infrastructure projects in the country.

In May 2016, housing regulator Rwanda Housing Authority set a deadline for all engineers to register, and for employers to only work with those registered or face sanctions.

Officials at Kigali City said they need to make changes in the online Construction Permit system to only allow applications by registered engineers.

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