The National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) is hosting a three day a fourth international construction conference at the Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe which has attracted over 400 construction stakeholders from both within and outside Malawi.
The conference, which was officially opened by Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila yesterday, aims to provide a platform to enhance engagement of regional and international construction industry experts on dissemination of information and sharing of experiences.
“This is because the construction sector has the ability to contribute up to 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product and employ 10 percent of the country’s work force,” said the minister.
He said although the numbers may appear small in size compared to contribution from other sectors, construction sector activities have large impact on economies due to closer linkages with other sectors.
Kasaila said a well developed infrastructure can only come about as a result of an efficient construction industry.
But he said for the sector to meaningfully contribute to Malawi’s economy, there is a need for the sector to formulate broader and collaborative policies that aim at achieving coordinated stakeholder focus on delivering efficient and quality infrastructure.
On challenges facing the sector, Kasaila cited lack of access to finance and skilled human resources required to enhance operations of the sector.
He also mentioned national competitive bidding opportunities being open to foreign firms as one other challenge facing local construction industry players.
On her part, NCIC chief executive officer Linda Phiri encouraged participants to collaborate efforts and share knowledge and experiences during the conference.
Phiri also decried laxity by most players in the sector to adopt new ways of doing things in the sector.