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A new office, Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction that will follow all the construction being done in the country is going to be formed, Capital learnt.
The new ministry will split to become an independent entity from Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction (MUDHCo), according to reliable sources.
The idea to form the ministry office for the construction sector is not new, but the idea has become adhered in the past couple of years.
According to sources, a committee is already formed under MUDHCo to study possibilities for the formation of the new ministry.
In several occasions the sector actors have been stressing the inevitability of the ministry office that is fully engaged on the construction sector than putting the construction sector in to different ministry offices.
Experts claimed that the construction sector is currently run under MUDHCo and other ministers like Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, which is responsible to follow the procurement process.
“The whole construction sector have to be monitored under a single entity,” Demesew Abate, president of Construction Contractors Association of Ethiopia (CCAE), said.
According to experts, even though the major part of construction sector sticks under MUDHCo, the ministry did not give ample attention for the sector.
“We observed that MUDHCo mainly engage on land management issues than the construction sector,” a private contractor said.
Experts claimed that due to lack of attention, the sector is highly suffering with various problems.
“If the ministry office is established for the sector, it will be easy to identify problems and solve them effectively,” Demesew told Capital.
Sources said that the new ministry will be realized when the new cabinet is formed, which will take place after the 2015 national election.
The new ministry will follow the construction sector that include road, water and other infrastructure constructions.
Currently, MUDHCo headed by Mekuria Haile has two state ministers engaged in urban development and construction sectors.
To combat challenges on the construction sector the government is applying several mechanisms including ratifying construction industry development policy, which was applied in the beginning of this budget year.
In addition to the policy ratification new institution was formed under the MUDHCo in July last year. Even though the Ethiopian Construction Project Management Institute led by Dr Yoseph Birru, former director of Construction Regulation Directorate at MUDHCo was established over a year ago, it is fully organized a few months ago.
The Institution is tasked with initiating policy and action plans, in order to facilitate competitive construction project management and identifying gaps within the current construction project management. It is now mainly working on major construction management areas, which are crucial for the sector’s transformation.
Core construction management areas like quality, cost and time managements are the priorities that the institute gives attention.
“We are working on these sectors, which are identified as basic problems for the construction sector in the country,” experts at the institute said.
Late this week the institute delivered a draft construction industry development road map for discussion with stakeholders that came from professional associations and higher education institutes.
“The road map is developed to amplify the construction sectors’ contribution for the country’s economic growth with the base of the construction industry development policy,” Dr Yoseph said on the discussion held at Hilton Hotel on Thursday October 16.
Limited capacity on construction industry leaders and organizations, low technological studies and researches, lack of integrity and scarcity on the supply of construction inputs and machineries, lack of modern management on construction projects, information gaps, financial problems and low integrity between governmental and nongovernmental institutes are some of the major problems facing the Ethiopian construction sector, according to experts.
On his presentation Dr Yoseph said that there is no strong and organized institution for the construction sector that can go with the country’s economic growth.
“Even though the government identified the gaps and restructured the ministry’s office (MUDHCo), the construction sector still did not get an organized makeup compared with the sector’s activity,” he said.
Expanding professionals’ proficiency, apply new technologies, fulfilled effective institutional arrangement, and establish capable legal framework are stated on the roadmap as strategic indicators for the sector development.
Dr Yoseph said that a ten year construction industry development and capacity building program that will be effective as of the coming budget year is under development. In the end of the ten year program the construction sector development is expected to reach up to 50 percent per annum and the construction sector will contribute 10 percent of the country’s GDP.
“The new policy ratified this year will be a basis for the targeted achievement in 2025,” he added.
According to Dr Yoseph, to achieve this some crucial pre conditions have to be accomplished.
Initially he emphasized the necessity of legal framework or proclamation that can lead, coordinate and support the construction sector. Experts and the roadmap elaborated that all institutes that are now set in different offices have to come under a single entity for the expected achievement.
A top official told Capital “meanwhile it is a political decision from the government side, the establishment of ministry office is very vital for the sector development. The current roadmap and other studies insist the formation of the ministry office,” and added “that is the final goal of this kind of documents.”
“The government has interest to form strong institutional arrangement aiming to boost the construction sector,” Hailemeskel Tefera, State Minister of MUDHCo, who is responsible for the construction sector, told Capital. But he declined to confirm the formation of new ministry office for the construction sector in the near future.
On the draft roadmap the establishment of the ‘construction industry council’ has also mentioned as other crucial move for the sector growth. Currently the regulation that allows the formation of the council, which will be chaired by the Prime Minister, is under preparation.
The discussion on the draft roadmap will continue with other stakeholders and is expected to be finalized within the next couple of months, according to sources.
“After the discussions we will see the inputs in to two directions. One, we will include crucial comments pointed out by the stakeholders on the roadmap and the other will be presenting for the government that needs a policy decision from the government side,” experts explained.
“The second point that will be presented for the government is the proposal to form the ministry,” sources said.
The construction sector GDP share has climbed to 5.6 percent, which was below 3 percent a decade ago. The construction sector GDP share on other sub Saharan countries on average is 6 percent.
The Ethiopian construction sector has registered over 12 percent growth in the past ten years, while its GDP share is still very small.