Africa News Bulletin

Rwanda: Experts make case for adjusted approach to local construction technology

There is a need to adopt and locally innovate the latest technologies and equipment as well as training workforce on them in Rwanda’s “cutting machine industry” as part of the construction sector, experts have voiced.

They say the local manufacturing could also help reduce import bill in the construction.

A study carried out in 2015 indicated that construction materials constituted 10 per cent of the country’s total imports.

Rwanda laid out a five-year plan, from 2016 to 2020 that could see construction sector saving $206 million per year if the import is reduced.

While imports remain high, experts say increasing the locally manufactured construction materials and equipment could boost economic growth and create more jobs.

The construction sector employs 400,000 people and is the third biggest employer after agriculture and retail sectors according to the Rwanda Development Board 2020 report which noted that, “Increased demand for domestically manufactured products and construction materials will reduce Rwanda’s import bill and the pressure on the local currency.”

According to Diogène Mulindahabi, the principal of IPRC Kigali, some of the needed technologies that need to be adopted in the local construction industry, school curriculum and among the workforce include drilling and tapping systems and technologies.

Drilling is the process of cutting holes in a solid material using a rotating cutting tool while tapping is the process of cutting threads on the inside surface of a drilled hole. This is achieved by using a special tool called a tap.

Tapping a hole is necessary to develop the full strength of a connecting screw or bolt.

He said such materials need to be locally manufactured for easy adoption and fast-track construction works which saves time and money.

“We have engaged experts in manufacturing to provide public lectures on such needed technologies as we are the institution that produces workforce for the construction industry,” he said, suggesting local manufacturing of such technologies.

He said that there is a need for improved locally made construction equipment to reduce costly imports.

“People have been importing machinery from China but their products are now becoming expensive. So the market should be now looking at Africans who need to manufacture the equipment and export them; therefore we should train our workforce by engaging experts in new technologies,” he said.

He said that the school is working with the private sector in manufacturing to ensure curriculums are also updated every three to five years to align them with updated technologies and the demand on the labour market.

He said for instance they are working with industries such as Rwanda Engineering and Manufacturing Corporation (REMCO), a new factory manufacturing machinery and parts in agriculture mechanization, mining, water fittings, hospital equipment, and construction and energy sectors.

Imported experts in the new technologies

Răzvan Basarabeanu, president of employers’ Association of the Cutting Industry in Romania, is one of experts in manufacturing currently in Rwanda to train the construction industry on latest technologies such as drilling and tapping systems and technologies.

The cutting tool specialist told Doing Business that the latest technologies could save both time and cost in the construction industry if adopted.

He said that he is meeting manufacturers and other players in construction technology to share experience in the cutting machine industry, namely drilling and tapping systems and technologies.

“I am in Rwanda for three months to train companies on how to use cutting machines and cutting tools properly. Therefore we also showed the students in TVET schools how they can do more things in operating machines and doing business in it,” he said.

He said that as many sectors are growing in Rwanda, it was an ideal opportunity to learn about the latest technologies on which construction will be based.

“There is a need for opening schools for training facilities for this kind of industry-Cutting machine industry and metal cutting- because everything would need cutting tools in the industry,” he said.

He noted that the cutting technology is new on the market adding it should be adopted.

“Once the workforce has the basic knowledge, they can adapt and learn new things easily,” he said.

Basarabeanu urged Rwanda to start locally producing their own cutting tools and machines to avoid depending on external markets.

“They can start with small machines and then advanced machines to avoid depending on other countries,” he said.

Metal cutting machine market size

The global metal cutting machine market size was valued at USD 6.17 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9 per cent from 2020 to 2027 according to the market analysis report.

Rising demand for highly-efficient metal cutting machines from various application industries, including automotive, aerospace and defense, electronics, and marine, is expected to be the key driving factor over the forecast period.

The metal cutting machines are extensively used in various application industries to cut different types of ferrous and non-ferrous metals to produce a finished product of desired geometry. It provides multiple advantages to the finished products, including surface texture or finish, closer dimensional accuracy, complex shaping, and required size.

Growing demand for advanced mechanized metal cutting machines is likely to propel the market growth over the forecast period, construction experts say.

Asia Pacific dominated the market and accounted for 41.8 per cent share of global revenue in 2019, on account of rapid industrialization coupled with improving economic conditions, most notably in India, China, and South Korea are anticipated to drive the product demand in the region.

The Asia Pacific is expected to remain a hub for high-tech manufacturing, especially for automotive, defense and aerospace, and electronics industries, which is likely to fuel the regional market growth.

The North American market for metal cutting machines is anticipated to be primarily driven by the growing demand from the defense and aerospace sector, which is predicted to fuel the need for metal cutting machines.

The European market is projected to witness a CAGR of 5.6 per cent over the forecast period.

Factors including increasing adoption of energy-efficient technologies, surge in industrial automation, and growing technological innovations are expected to drive the demand for metal cutting machines over the coming years.

Robust automotive and manufacturing sectors in the region are projected to heighten the demand for metal cutting machines significantly.

The Middle East and Africa region is expected to be driven by the burgeoning construction industry coupled with the increasing public and private investment in infrastructural development in this region.

Israel is one of the major players in the region. Robust aviation and electronics and telecommunication sectors in the country are anticipated to drive the product demand over the forecast period.

Original story on The New Times

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