By Tichaona Kurewa
Zimbabwe’s target to build over 220 000 housing units by 2025 has received a major boost following revelations that Zimbabwe will be sending engineers and architects to train in the adoption of modern technology in housing development in Egypt.
Speaking recently in Victoria Falls, National Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Honourable Daniel Garwe said over the years, one of the major challenges in massive housing development is related to cost and turn over time which the new technology is addressing.
“I am pleased to announce that our colleagues from Egypt are here to offer Zimbabwean engineers and architects free training on adoption of new technologies on housing development. We have already discussed that issue with His Excellency and have approved it, what is left now is for us to sit down and fine tune the modalities,” he said.
He added, “We want to send our engineers and architects to Egypt as early as the beginning of next year so that they get training and come back with skills and impart those skills to those left at home. We will reduce the influx of foreign companies coming to take over our construction space because we will have knowledge and exposure in the adoption and application of new technologies in housing delivery.”
African Federation of Construction Contractors Associations General Secretary, Mr Elchouemi Ibrahim, whose organisation will be training personnel from Zimbabwe, confirmed the development with contractors welcoming the initiative.
“We are ready to have engineers and technicians from Zimbabwe to come and study in Egypt and we can arrange for that,” he said.
“It’s something that is highly welcome because we are going to get more skills, not only in the built environment, but also as a nation because the measure of a nation is determined by the amount of infrastructure that you have in the country,” said. Dr Tinashe Manzungu, Zimbabwe Building Contractors Association Senior Vice President.
President of the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe, Mr Emmanuel Chimedza was excited about the development, “This shows the level of cooperation between Zimbabwe and Egypt and we as CIFOZ we are very happy with that invitation.”
The new technology, insulated concrete form (ICF), is a portable component of interconnected expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels filled with concrete.
Its advantages include construction cost savings of up to twenty five percent, construction time savings of up to fifty percent and natural disaster proof.
The new technology has been adopted in a number of countries around the globe including Ghana, United States of America, Iran and Austria.