Kenya’s construction industry faces a myriad of challenges despite its enormous potential and contribution to the economy, QS David Mathu research and business development manager of National Construction Authority has said.
Speaking at a German–Kenya Round Table on BAUMA CONEXPO AFRICA-a major construction event set for South Africa in 2018, Mr Mathu said that challenges include financial constraints, inadequate construction material and machinery as well as challenges to do with project management.
Also affecting the construction industry is inadequate skills among workers. In recent years, contractors have been complaining of a shortage of artisans raising the overall cost of construction in Kenya.
Yet financial challenges were a major impediment to Kenya’s construction industry. Michael Derus from the German embassy in Kenya noted that construction requires heavy machinery that requires intensive financing.
Mr Derus urged for public private partnership(PPP) in a bid to address financial needs in the construction industry. He observed that Kenya has a robust PPP Act that can help in execution of mega projects in the country.
“Kenya has some of the best legal legislation aimed at enhancing businesses in the country. This has helped in the country rank favourably in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business,” he said.
However, Mr Derus noted that political stability was crucial to foster investor confidence in Kenya’s economy.
The deputy ambassador acknowledged government’s efforts to establish vocational training institutions to churn out a skilled labour force on a need basis.
Kenya plans to roll out an ambitious housing projects in the country aimed at addressing housing shortage in the country a move that would significantly increase demand for skilled workers.
Hon. Moses Muhia from Kenya Federation of Master Builders offered that since SMEs were the driving force for Kenya’s construction industry there was need to ensure they are well financed if Kenya’s construction industry is to be successful.
The event brought together professionals in the construction industry such as quantity surveyors, architects and engineers as well as business players like Kenya Private Sector Alliance and Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The BAUMA CONEXPO AFRICA will be held in South Africa in March 13-16, 2018. The event brings together stakeholders in the African and international construction and mining industries.