Home Business & TechEconomy Rwanda Quantity Surveyors Seek Legal Framework

Rwanda Quantity Surveyors Seek Legal Framework

by Daniel Sabiiti
7:00 pm

RIQS AGM 2024 holding a panel discussing strategic plans

The Institute of Quantity Surveyors in Rwanda (RIQS) has mulled government to speed up the establishment of a legal framework that will enable the organisation to grown and equally contribute to national development projects.

The call was made this June 20, during the 2nd RIQS Annual General Assembly held in Kigali, that was convened to approve a new action plan 2024- 2025, assess progress and challenges faced following the establishment of the RIQS in 2023.

Quantity Surveying (QS) is a professional career of experts who estimate and control costs for large construction projects and by legalizing their activities in Rwanda.

The establishment of the institute was intended eliminate existing chaos in Rwanda’s growing construction sector where other professionals in the construction sector especially engineers, and architects have been assuming the QS jobs.

The AGM showed that beyond this challenge, the role of QSs in Rwanda has not been fully recognised especially with a legal framework to enable them participate equally (as needed professionals) in both public and private construction projects.

QS Charles Lugira addressing the 2024 AGM

The RIQS Chairman, QS Charles Lugira said that this is a barrier which needs to be overcome by recognizing their role of ensuring accountability and quality assurance.

“We need to have a legal structure to enable us to do more. Once the framework is in place, we will be able to ensure that each construction project has a quantity surveyor and get jobs if all public tenders require a QS,” Lugira said.

The legal framework will require an amendment of the existing laws (in the Ministry of Infrastructure-Mininfra) to include the QS as a recognized profession in government entities and regulate how they operate.

Also, the framework will provide provisions for opening up QS firms and businesses in Rwanda but most importantly insert the QS  profession and role as a requirement for any public infrastructure project in Rwanda.

The RIQS AGM heard that a proposed legal framework has already been submitted to the line Ministry of Infrastructure and an ongoing procedure to amend the law, which are expected to approved anytime in the near future.

Once this framework is in place, it may encourage more young Rwandans joining the profession that has for years existed but not known yet it is key in ensuring accountability, quality assurance and value for money- issues that have been raised the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) as a concern in public accounts and execution of development projects.

Engineer Papias Kazawadi, the President, Federation of Africa Engineering Organisations (FAEO),said that other professional careers such as engineers, architects, valuers and environmental services are currently regulated (with a legal framework) except the quantity surveyors, urban planners, and land surveyors- remain unrecognized in government entities; and this calls for recognition so as to break the chains of chaos in these unregulated professions.

“The only way to curb chaos and improve the activities and participation of quantity surveyors’s organization is by having a legal framework because you cannot do anything properly without regulations, that enable you to join the career just as we see among doctors, lawyers and even among us- engineers,” Kazawadi said.

RIQS Plans Ahead:

The RIQS action plan for the next five years shows that the organization intends to increase the number of quantity surveyors but also improve their capacity and professionalism.

Currently there are over 800 registered quantity surveyors and only 117 are certified with only one of them pursuing a doctorate in the profession.

Some of the RIQS members said that there is a challenge to afford certification especially when quantity surveyors cannot easily get jobs within a regulated structure.

QS Lugira revealed that they are planing to increase numbers of PhD holders to at least 20 in the next five years and also recruit more incomers from technical schools who can gradually upgrade their careers.

This will require to have a budget (estimated $20million) to have more QS’s Masters and PhD holders so as to build a local teaching manpower to sustain the institute and reduce dependence on foreign lecturers, according to Lugira.

“We are developing a concept paper to lobby the government on this so as to build a pool of professionals on our market; and it will require working with the University of Rwanda to find funding but also an implementation plan and strategy,” Lugira said.

David Ntambiye, one of the youngest leaders at RIQS

This plan is expected to contribute to Rwanda’s development ambition of becoming a knowledge based economy and specifically witness Rwandan QS skills marketable on the regional and global market which currently demands for more quantity surveyors to inform investment decisions and funding for development support programs.

A Rwanda National Bank (BNR) official advised the RIQS to consider a need to create public awareness about the profession but also register membership with other regional organizations to enable Rwandan professionals operate beyond borders

Related Posts