The property and real estate industry, like any other sector, has been disrupted by the advancement in digital technology and artificial intelligence.
Economies in the region, including Rwanda, have not been spared by these disruptions and changes, particularly the real estate and property valuation industries, which find themselves in the middle of it all, having to rethink and readjust the way they do things to align with the new tech-driven normal.
It is for this reason that leading experts, practitioners and stakeholders in the real estate and property industry are meeting in Kigali this week for the African Real Estate Society (AfRES) -East African Chapter Conference, to discuss the impact of ICT and AI on the industry.
The conference which will take place from tomorrow, May 25, 2023, will bring together over 300 delegates from Rwanda, the region and the continent to chart the way forward on how ICT and AI tools can be integrated in the industry to improve efficiency and service delivery.
According to John Mugisha, the chairperson of the Institute of Real Property Valuers in Rwanda (IRPV), the organisers and hosts of the two-day regional meeting, it will be an opportunity for industry players to meet and discuss how to deal with the new realities, trends and dynamics.
“AfRES East Africa chapter is the regional organ of the African Real Estate Society, which is a continental organization of professionals in real estate. The regional chapter promotes the mission of AfRES, which is networking, research and education across Africa,”
“Rwanda is a member of AfRES in the Eastern African Chapter. Rwanda was chosen to host this conference as a member but also as a country that successfully organized the 2013 AfRES conference. Rwanda has also made significant investments in information technology across all sectors of the economy,” Mugisha said.
He pointed out that Rwanda was selected to host the regional conference because of the country’s track record in hosting meetings and efforts to promote MICE. A lot is expected from the meeting which will bring together delegates from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, DR Congo, Tanzania and others.
“Our expectations include networking among professionals in the real estate sector, sharing experiences of solutions that have served well in solving issues such as affordable housing,”
“The topics that will be discussed during the conference include valuation and artificial intelligence, affordable housing expropriation, sustainable real estate financing and property management. We shall have speakers from across the region, including seasoned academics, practitioners and policymakers in the real estate sector,” Mugisha explained.
At the end of the conference, Mugisha said they expect to enhance regional partnerships, capacity building and knowledge-sharing as well as building business and personal connections among industry practitioners and stakeholders.
Participants will include valuers, property managers, real estate brokers, financial institutions, policy makers, professional bodies, academia and private sector, among others.
Mugisha said the conference will be an opportunity to exchange information regarding valuation in the East African region, where majority of chapter member countries have had valuation professions established for roughly 50 years, meaning that they have accumulated a wealth of experience from which Rwandan valuers can draw in order to improve and take the necessary steps forward to adopt ICT.
“In addition, regional colleagues will have the opportunity to learn from the Rwandan real estate market, which, despite being young, is highly dynamic in terms of activities due to ease of doing business factors and IT in valuation, land administration, and other areas, which is considerably more advanced than elsewhere in East Africa and the AfRES community.
The conference will also provide an opportunity for real estate players to showcase their products and services while meeting new people who may be of future interest in their respective businesses.
According to IRPV, the conference will provide a larger forum for the Rwandan real estate industry, particularly valuers, to explore new networks and share knowledge, accomplishments, and experiences with other practitioners from the region and, eventually, on a global scale.
“The primary objective is to have a more knowledgeable spectrum of practitioners who are up-to-date with new technologies and evolving practices, as well as to increase the number of networks between local and regional practitioners,” a statement from IRPV reads.
AfRES has been in existence for 26 years and is established as a forum for the exchange of ideas, research and education among real estate professionals in Africa.