GIS – 26 September 2013: The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), in collaboration with Enterprise Mauritius, organised today at Gold Crest Hotel, Quatre Bornes, a half-day workshop on the Export of Construction Services to Africa. The objective is to promote and assist contractors and consultants to seize opportunities for construction available on the continent.
The CIDB is a statutory body which has been set up to bridge the gap between Government as a facilitator and the stakeholders of the construction industry. Its mission is to promote and encourage the participation of small and medium enterprises in the construction industry, as well as extend assistance in the export of construction industry related services. Besides implementing government policy relating to the construction industry, the CIDB is also responsible for regulating and registering construction works and service providers.
In his opening address, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Public Infrastructure, National Development Unit, Land Transport and Shipping, Mr. Anil Bachoo, highlighted the challenges prevailing in the construction industry today. He recalled that not many years ago the industry was contributing some 6% of the Gross Domestic Product, employing around 55 000 people. However, since last year, due to a number of reasons, the situation has deteriorated, but the Government is leaving no stone unturned to give a new boost to the industry, he said.
After a series of consultative exercises, the CIDB has come up with a Sector Strategy Paper which highlights the state of the construction industry, its weakness, its strengths and the opportunities.
Government, said the Minister has endorsed the Strategy paper and a high level committee will monitor the implementation of the recommendations. He urged the participants not to rely exclusively on the local market, but to venture across borders for new projects and experiences. On that score, Mr Bachoo pledged Government’s support in their endeavour to export their services.
For his part, the Chairperson of Enterprise Mauritius, Mr. Amédée Darga, encouraged contractors and consultants to take advantage of the African continent which is opening up to the world. He said that if participants have made up their minds to break into those new ventures, this workshop would help them better understand how to capture and tap those opportunities.
According to African standards, Mauritian firms are considered too small to carry out big projects. Therefore, it is imperative that the firms engage into partnerships with local and international firms to make the most of the prospects available in Africa, he said.