The Minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni, has called on engineers, architects and civil contractors to collaborate to effectively build the technical capacity of the country’s workforce through ethical and quality professionalism.
According to Rwanda’s New Times, Musoni made the call while closing the Engineering Week, an event that brought together engineers as well as architects to forge collaboration with the Ministry of Infrastructure on how to reinforce professionalism.
“Engineers and architects should naturally work very closely the Ministry of Infrastructure. I encourage you to embrace the culture of operating in cooperatives,” the Minister said, adding that this will make their voice heard more as well as ensure a well-coordinated industry.
The government has prioritised infrastructure development and has been allocating almost a third of its annual budget towards the sector as a vehicle to meet the country’s Vision 2020 and its strategic agenda, the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), he said.
Rwandan engineers take on only 30 per cent of the construction contracts, while 70 per cent of the contracts are taken by foreign engineers because local engineers are not considered skilled enough to execute the contracts.
Another reason the local engineers miss out on these contracts, officials said, is because they are not accredited by the Institute of Engineers Rwanda (IER).
However, the engineers decried the requirements for registration, which they said are not easy to fulfill.
Others such as Mary Irankunda, a fresh engineering graduate from China, said they cannot afford the required amount of money to subscribe to the body.
“The only challenge we, fresh graduates, face is the amount of money required to join the association.
Rwf200,000 a year is too much for us since we are still searching for jobs. I don’t think many of us can afford it but of course we want to join the association,” she said.
On the issue of contractors who fail to get government contracts, local firms attributed it to lack of capital to meet the required threshold on some of these projects.
To be able to overcome these, they were urged to create synergies, which will not only raise capital, but also make their voice heard more.
The Engineering Week, that ended Friday, sought to promote professional engineering practices, standards and ethics under the theme, “Engineering for Sustainable Development.”