Quantity surveyors from Africa will converge on the lakeshore district of Mangochi next week for a three-day conference to share knowledge and update each other on modern and international construction cost management techniques.
A quantity surveyor is a professional working in the construction industry and is concerned with managing all costs relating to building and civil engineering projects, from the initial calculation to the final figures. They seek to minimise the costs of a project and enhance value for money, while still achieving the required standards and quality.
To be held under the theme â€˜Sustainable construction cost management through innovative managementâ€™, the meeting will present an opportunity for experts to share innovative practices that have been applied to construction management, according to Quantity Surveyor Malawi Chapter chairperson Fred Chiweza.
“This [meeting] is vital to Malawi and the rest of Africa because infrastructure development through construction is the vehicle through which most of our countries are attaining development,” he said in a statement.
The meeting will come under the auspices of Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS)â€”the mother body for the quantity surveyors professionals in Africa.
During the conference scheduled for March 21 to 23, 2012, several imminent speakers from Malawi, Zambia, United States of America (USA) and Nigeria will make their presentations.
It will also serve as a pre-meeting for the 8th World Congress of the International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC) to take place in Durban, South Africa in June this year.
Since Malawi will participate in the congress, Chiweza said, the Mangochi meeting will be a preparatory event for the country to effectively participate at the World Congress.
The meeting next week will attract professionals in the quantity surveying sector, the construction industry, engineers, material suppliers and other players in the industry.
One of the organising officials, Patrick Khambadza, who is also a lecturer at University of Malawâ€™s The Polytechnic said this week that this will be a very important meeting, the first of its kind to be hosted by Malawi.
“We want to bridge the gap between the new graduates and those who have been in the profession for a long time. This is the time for the new graduates to network and know the basics of the profession,” he said.
He then called on students in this profession to patronise the meeting en masse.
Some of the topics to be discussed during the meeting include sustainable construction, contractors risk management, factors influencing construction costs in Malawi, an investigation into ethical issues and professional misconduct in the Malawi construction industry and building information modelling.