An Engineer bridging gap in Rwanda’s construction industry

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Eng. Kazawadi Papias Dedeki is a celebrated Master International Project Manager, the founder and the Managing Director of Star Construction and Consultancy (SCC) in Rwanda. His desire to bridge gap in Rwanda’s construction industry has enabled engineers and contractors realize new opportunities in the field.

SCC’s team has over 17 years working experience in the construction industry as contractors. Eng. Kazawadi, who is also Arbitrator and an accredited commercial Mediator, is one of the few young engineers who foresaw the untapped potential in Rwanda’s construction industry.

In a recent interview with the Business Mirror, the engineer explains that his company has been an eye opener in the country’s construction sector having experiences ranging from building works, irrigation works and manufacture of concrete products as well unique curved and interlocking blocks for water tanks.

“SCC has gone a milestone by offering study and design work in architecture field and maximizing the returns of projects,” he notes.

Eng. Kazawadi invests and supports engineering graduates by being their mentor in the construction field. He also supports the engineers and contractors to be successful in their professional and deliver quality results in their projects.

The desire of supporting engineers saw him starting construction professional trainings. So what do the trainings entail?

SCC’s professional training modules

According to Eng. Kazawadi, there is still big gap in project implementation modules for engineering graduates. He notes that SCC has come up with training modules which will ensure that CEOs of companies get desired sustainable growths. The companies, however, are required to appreciate the importance and apply “on-the-job training” for their staff in order to ensure proper understanding and application of best tools in the organizations.

The trainings entail:

  • Seminars for construction company owners and CEOs
  • Effective Communication and writing skills for engineering professionals
  • Construction project management for technical/ engineering graduates
  • Foreman and construction project leadership
  • Construction project estimating and costing
  • Equipment and fleet management for maximum productivity
  • Workforce management for maximum productivity
  • Appropriate construction technology (new techniques, new methods, processes, procedures, new applications etc)

Eng. Kazawadi says that the above trainings are available to all interested candidates in the field of construction, adding that the training modules are appropriate for bridging the construction industry skills gap identified by the present market in order to help engineers achieve their goals. These modules take about 30 hours each and a trainee is free to take anyone of them or even all depending of his/her budget and time.

The trainings are facilitated by experts experienced and trained in a variety of fields related to the construction industry including, but not limited to, engineering, project plan and appraisal, construction and real estate management best practices with entrepreneurship.

Projects development

Eng. Kazawadi’s firm has corporate intelligence and experience in providing professional services for construction investment projects. SCC has managed to complete mega projects like: Rice irrigation project in Nyagatare district in the Eastern province of Rwanda under the Ministry of Agriculture, which was completed in 2012. Hillside rice irrigation project in Nyamugali of Kirehe district in the Eastern province, where phase one was finished in 2013, and phase two is almost 95% done.

“We have also started another rice irrigation project in Winkwavu Kayonza district of Eastern province. The Project started two months ago and is expected to be completed in four months to come,” Eng. Kazawadi says.

In 2009, SCC completed the construction of 49 water tanks with 10m3 capacity each using curved concrete blocks for rainwater storage in Nyagatare District schools. Between 2005-2008, the company was able to sell many water tanks build with blocks.

He says that every project is unique and must be treated differently. “Every scope of project must have quality of conformity, performance, design and budget. This as a result will enable any contractor to avoid errors and delays with the project,” SCC Managing Director adds.

For a project to be successful, Eng. Kazawadi believes that the contractor must ensure proper project leadership, avoid inadequate risks analysis and poor resources management by timely engaging the right people on the team.

He notes that Rwanda infrastructure development has improved tremendously with new skyscrapers, improved roads, shopping malls, schools etc. However, SCC Managing Director reveals that there are few challenges still hampering the progress of country’s construction industry like: lack of enough knowledge, skills and experience among engineers and high taxation.

 

SCC’s concrete products

Due to high demand on concrete products in Rwanda market, SCC started the production of concrete products such as blocks, pavers, culverts, curbstones etc in 2002.

“Since we started manufacturing concrete products in 2002, we have been able to sell curved concrete solid blocks which are used for water tanks,” Eng. Kazawadi says. In 2009 the company took its production a notch higher by producing concrete door and window frames, which are cost effective.

He notes that SCC’s products are of high quality making them stand in the Rwanda’s construction industry.

Future of SCC

With the ongoing boom in Rwanda’s construction industry, SCC stands a good position of being the leading construction and consultancy firm in the country.

“SCC’s future is very bright since the industry we focus in is also growing positively. In the next ten years the firm will be fully structured offering more relevant opportunities to the engineers,” Eng. Kazawadi says.

Eng. Kazawadi’s wise words

If you are an entrepreneur willing to invest in construction industry, you need to draw a plan as Eng. Kazawadi advices. He says that as an investor you also need to analyze your plan well to be able to follow it.

“Young people planning to venture into businesses should stop using shortcuts. Instead they should concentrate on investing in their lives to be able to succeed,” he notes.

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