Cabinet okays construction MoU with Egypt

Zimbabwe is set for a construction boom following Cabinet’s adoption and approval of a construction industry Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Egypt is one of the world’s leading nations in the construction industry boasting cutting edge technology that has seen the North African economic powerhouse establishing new cities and key infrastructure for the benefit of its populace.

Under President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030, underpinned by the country’s economic development blueprint, the National Development Strategy (NDS), Zimbabwe is on a massive drive towards rapid infrastructure development.

Since 2017, the country has witnessed massive road infrastructure improvement as well as housing and dams construction among other infrastructure projects.

These unfolding developments are set for a fresh impetus as Government angles to tap from those that have set global standards in the sector.   

“Cabinet approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities of the Arab Republic of Egypt,” said Minister of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Dr Jenfan Muswere after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

“The Memorandum of Understanding is on cooperation in the field of affordable housing and new building technologies for sustainable development. This entails providing for low-cost housing and the provision of social amenities within the framework of a Joint Commission of both Governments, under the Bilateral Cooperation Framework between Zimbabwe and Egypt,” said Dr Muswere.

National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Daniel Garwe said Egypt was a global leader in new technology and their expertise was key, especially at a time the world was moving away from traditional methods flagged for causing carbon emissions.

He talked of the upcoming Manhize steel plant which will see Zimbabwe becoming one of the largest producers of steel in Africa saying its coming on board would make it easier to access raw materials locals needed in modern construction.

“The MOU is to share knowledge and experience in the field of delivery of affordable and sustainable housing. Egypt is very much advanced and a leader in using local materials such as steel,” said Minister Garwe.

“A standard house of three bedrooms will probably take six months to build, a similar house using modern technology will probably take a month to build.

“The other benefit is cost. You cut costs by about 50 percent. We are soon going to be the largest producer of steel in Africa. Egypt is so much developed in housing delivery and urban renewal. We are going to share experiences with Egypt.

“The Ministry is primarily private sector driven in terms of its mandate. The private sector has a key role to play in providing the funding. Government is providing a conducive environment for the private sector to have business sense,” said Minister Garwe.

With Government under NDS1 having made it clear that the country’s economic development plans are hinged on private sector led growth, private players have already latched onto the good relations between Zimbabwe and Egypt.

The signing of the MoU between the two countries comes after the Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association (ZBCA) senior vice president Dr Tinashe Manzungu in September attended the International Manufacturing Convention and Exhibition (IMCE) in Cairo, Egypt in where he sought to learn from the country’s engineering and construction industry expertise.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Dr Manzungu said it was good that the Government had made the step to provide a working framework with the Egyptians.

“Anything good that you may think of there is always a person somewhere somehow who has walked the path,” said Dr Manzungu.

“The Egyptians are world masters of the construction industry. Moreso, there is a lot for us to learn from them in that they have done it under circumstances that are closer to our situation as compared to Europeans.

“This is a masterstroke from Government. I just cannot begin to imagine the benefits that will accrue to Zimbabwe from such kind of cooperation,” said Dr Manzungu.

Herald

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