Monday, January 17, 2022

Architects in moves to set up regulatory board

The Architects Association of Botswana (AAB) is failing to continue their collaboration with government for the Architects Registration Council (ARC) to carry out its mandate of regulating the profession.

“The ARC does not yet have the financial means neither to appoint a Registrar nor to develop, with government, the rules and regulations necessary for regulating the architectural profession,” said Vincent Moapare, the president of the association.

After 23 years of establishment, the current Executive Committee of the Architects Association of Botswana has taken strides to make the association information public.

Moapare said the status quo means that architects continue to operate in an unregulated environment. He said the prevailing situation is not good for the business environment.

“This is bad for business as anyone can operate as an architect without being subjected to rigorous scrutiny to ensure that they hold the requisite qualification and experience to serve the public,” said Moapare.

As with all other sectors in Botswana, government is the main consumer of services. The profession, and indeed the construction industry, has not been spared the negative effects of the economic downturn, as a result, most of the members find themselves with little or no work.

“The recession has decimated the architecture profession, with firms closing or laying off large numbers of employees, architects left jobless for months or years, and many leaving the profession entirely,” said Moapare.

Architects are now leaving the country to seek opportunities elsewhere. “We urge all corporate entities whether local or Botswana-based multi-nationals and property developers to employ the services of local architects to retain work in Botswana,” said Moapare.

He added that the association is ready to engage with the clients to appreciate reasons that may be compelling them to select foreign based firms over local ones to carryout work in Botswana.

“This brain drain is causing a reversal of the major gains made by our country’s big investment in training citizens in architecture to lead the development of this country,” said Moapare.

He further said that graduates are also finding it difficult to be absorbed into the market. “This is a cause for concern to us and we will continue to engage our stakeholders to mitigate this problem,” he said.

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