Rwandan architects propose professional board
Rwandan architects and engineers say a legal framework document, which is currently on parliamentarians’ table, would help them regulate and establish order within their profession.
In spite of architectural and engineering activities that have been taking place in the country; particularly as housing development keeps growing, practitioners say the activities are chaotic.
The reason behind this is that so far there is neither a law regulating their profession nor a legal forum where local and international practitioners could discuss their activities and set a code of conduct governing their profession.
“A company could come from Kenya or Uganda and start operating in the country without any recognition from local practitioners,” says Eudes Kayumba, the vice president of the Architects Association of Rwanda (AAR).
The architects believe that in their profession, one needs more than to register at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) since there are standards that need to be observed by everyone to ensure fair competition.
“Even those who were denied working in other countries would come and start operating in Rwanda,” Kayumba says.
Besides the bill they want be legalized, architects propose a board governing their career, as well as to strengthen mutual recognition in East African Community and protect interests of the whole block. The ideal would be to constitute a legal structure where architects or engineers can meet to regulate their own affairs as it has been the case in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
Officials in the ministry of infrastructure recognize the need for Rwandan architects to have such legal mechanism so as for them to provide better service to the society. “We want now to establish a legal framework where engineers and architects will be meeting to discuss their own concerns and regulate themselves; otherwise, everyone would wake up in the morning and assume to be an engineer,” Minister Nsengiyumva said while explaining the law before the chamber of deputies.
Minister Nsengiyumva said that the document was prepared after consultations with practicing engineers and architects so that it responds to their needs. He added that the law regulating the sector of engineering intends to set standards that could help to get better quality in the sector.
Along with the establishment of the legal framework, the minister mentioned that they are committed to increase the number of professionals by either offering related courses in local higher learning institutions or providing Rwandans with training opportunities abroad.
Currently professional architects are provided by Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and the National University of Rwanda (NUR) which offer courses in design, architecture and civil engineering.