CONSTRUCTION industry players in Zimbabwe have expressed readiness to tap into growing opportunities in the region and are keen to secure strategic synergies with their peers across Africa.
With the coming in of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose implementation began in January this year, the services sector is expected to come under the spotlight as the continent seeks to increase intra-regional trading.
This presents a good opportunity for Zimbabwean professionals and contractors, says the Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (CIFOZ). The federation has started marketing its services beyond the country’s borders including engaging with counterparts for possible synergies.
“As building professionals and contractors we have all the necessary skills and capacity to implement big and small projects in the region. We are ready to export our services,” said CIFOZ chief executive officer, Martin Chingaira. The organisation was part of industries that exhibited their products and services at the just ended Zimbabwe-Malawi Solo Trade Exhibition in Lilongwe.
“That’s why we are out to identify projects in every country and seek to negotiate for implementation through government, ministries, private organisations and local authorities,” said Chingaira.
“The opportunity is big out there and as you know, Zimbabweans are known for quality service and professionalism. We always try to adhere to global standards in our work.”
He said from surveys that CIFOZ has done, the region was rolling out massive projects such as construction of roads, commercial buildings like malls, accommodation, government offices and a range of social amenities including sporting facilities.
“The region, through SADC is promoting partnerships or joint ventures and this is important in order to increase capacity to tender for big projects or jobs,” said Chingaira.
“And when we talk of capacity we are talking of financial muscle, skills and machinery to execute the jobs.
“That is why we are here to seek collaboration with other construction associates so that we facilitate for our members to participate.”
While the AfCFTA provides a supporting framework for growing intra-regional trading of goods and service, Chingaira said their sector was seized with finding ways of exposing themselves to potential clients. He revealed that their drive to scout for partnership deals was inspired by growing demand for information from members who are keen to participate in regional projects.
“We came here as a response to growing enquiries to synergise and tap into external construction market opportunities,” said Chingaira.
CIFOZ is a professional body formed in 1915 and boasts of close to 600 individual members and companies who are involved in different construction trades.