Story by Abigirl Tembo
ZIMBABWE’s construction industry is set to benefit immensely from Egypt’s US$70 billion sector as the two countries explore ways of forging strategic partnerships for the growth of the industry.
A Zimbabwean delegation that is in Egypt for the just-ended Africa Health ExCon has been impressed by Egypt’s growing construction sector with plans now in motion for possible partnerships between Harare and Cairo.
The delegation which is being led by Vice President General Rtd Dr Constantino Chiwenga met with leaders from the African Federation for Construction where discussions centred on urban renewal and the construction of new cities.
“The discussion with engineers from the construction industry association of the Arab Republic of Egypt centred on two major things, the provision of a smart city or smart cities and what we call urban renewal.
“The President of Egypt when he came into power, the duration for constructing a bridge was three years but that has since been reduced to one year and it is being done in 56 days this shows that with good leadership you can achieve a lot, now we can see something in Zimbabwe which is very similar when the second republic came into power the way things are being done in Zimbabwe is more efficient showing that our leaders have the same vision,” said the Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Honourable Raymond Machingura.
Representatives from the African Federation for Construction responsible for the more than 21 new cities being built across Egypt said they are willing to share knowledge and expertise with their Zimbabwean counterparts.
“We discussed with the Vice President the corporation between the Egyptian side and the Zimbabwean side to start sharing our Egyptian experience with the contractors company of Zimbabwe to build new smart cities and also to help the Zimbabwean side with all the infrastructure and we also discussed other kinds of cooperation for training for the leaders of the construction company of Zimbabwe. There is potential in Zimbabwe and we are ready to start immediately and would be happy to support our brothers there,” said the president of the African Federation for Construction, Engineer Hassan Aziz.
The government has identified infrastructure as one of the key economic enablers and priority has been placed on infrastructural development including road habilitation, dam and housing construction.
Zimbabwe’s infrastructural development initiative also dovetails with the Government’s vision of transforming the country into an upper middle-income society by 2030, anchored by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1), thus the envisaged cooperation with Egypt in the sector will help the country achieve its set targets in terms of infrastructure development.