Kenya mulls partnerships with foreign contractors to boost local building capacity

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Kenya plans to partner with foreign contractors in order to boost the local capacity in the building sector, the construction regulator said on Monday.

Maurice Akech, CEO of the National Construction Authority (NCA), told Xinhua in Nairobi that there are many international contractors based in Kenya engaged in road, energy, water, building and telecommunication projects due to lack of ability for local contractors to undertake the work.

“Our desire is that local contractors acquire the same level of competitiveness as foreign contractors in the next five years so as to enhance the sustainability of the building sector,” Akech said during a road sector forum on enforcement of construction regulations.

Akech revealed that the country has in the past decade allocated a huge portion of public resources to put in place infrastructure and hence the need to have a vibrant local construction sector.

NCA said that Kenyan contractors lag behind their international peers in the area of skills and financial capacity. Akech revealed that the country is keen on technology transfer in the construction sector to ensure that local firms can undertake complex infrastructure projects.

He observed that the construction industry is a capital intensive sector that requires players to be able to mobilize resources to carry out projects because payment is often done after completion of work. The construction regulator noted that the current legislation requires international firms to subcontract 30 percent of their work to local companies.

“The aim is to ensure that the local construction sector is empowered to grow and be able to perform mega infrastructure projects,” Akech noted.

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