Leading East African planning, design, architecture and engineering team FBW Group is advising an international consortium backed by $400m on the buildability of sites to boost trade across the continent.
FBW is part of the consortium led by international development consulting company IPE Global which is currently carrying out feasibility studies centred on the creation of special ‘trade and logistics clusters’ near borders and points of entry in countries across East Africa.
Aid-for-trade organisation TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), funded by UK AID and other donors, is behind the strategy to create special industrial parks and export processing zones to attract investors and boost trade, stimulate growth and create more jobs and better jobs.
It is looking to invest $400m to create a million new jobs by 2022 by reducing trade costs by 10 per cent and increasing exports by 25 per cent.
FBW Group has operations in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, and a team of more than 30 professionals delivering high value construction and development projects in the region.
FBW’s role with the consortium is to examine the ‘buildability’ of sites and to undertake physical assessments to assess their potential and viability. Moving forward, the group will be involved in master planning schemes that are being taken forward and the preparation of designs for contractor tenders.
FBW Group managing director Paul Moores, based in Kampala, said: “We’re delighted to be playing our part in this truly transformational project for East Africa.
“The aim is to kick-start growth and to create much needed jobs. The concept of the clusters is to act as a catalyst by delivering the facilities and conditions that will attract investment in manufacturing and logistics.
“It is about working to tackle the barriers to growth that include poor infrastructure, high energy costs and poor access to markets.
“The areas being looked at as potential sites for logistics clusters have been identified as favourable locations with the right demographics and the natural qualities to help create growth and jobs.”
At present the IPE/FBW team is looking at possible sites across a number of locations in Rwanda.
IPE Global specialises in providing expert technical assistance and solutions for equitable development and sustainable growth in developing countries.
FBW, which has recruited some of the top talent in architecture, design and engineering in East Africa, offers a wide range of in-house professional building and technical services.
They include pre-design services, development consultancy, building appraisals and condition surveys, project management, architecture, civil and structural engineering, MEP engineering, telecommunication engineering, and other building consultancy services.
In Rwanda the practice is working on a number of tourism related development projects on behalf of international investors, with more in the pipeline.
FBW’s portfolio of successfully delivered developments includes the British High Commission in Uganda, several high profile commercial and residential developments in the city and the Kampala International School as well as National Teachers Colleges and hotels on the shores of Lake Victoria.
In Tanzania the group has delivered hotel resorts, hospitals, shopping centres and a major mixed-use development in the capital Dar es Salaam.
Its other Rwandan projects include retail, commercial and transport hub in downtown Kigali, a signature library building for the Kigali Institute of Science and technology, as well as a number of tourism and leisure developments.
FBW has also successfully completed engineering projects for a range of businesses including a local Coca Cola bottling company and breweries in the region.
FBW Group has been successfully helping deliver projects in East Africa for more than 20 years.
The major player in the region’s construction and development sector was founded in 1994 by UK and Dutch architects and engineers working in Tanzania, including Geoff Wilks, from Stockport, who is still the chairman of the group.
He divides his time between TRP Consulting, the structural and engineering practice based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter where he is a director, and East Africa.
Architect Paul Moores, from Manchester, is managing director and is based in the group’s head office in the Ugandan capital Kampala. He joined the business in 1998.
The UK links continue with Stuart Harley, again from Manchester, who is chief operational officer, operating out of the group’s Ugandan office, along with Nigel Tilling, from Warrington, who is director of architecture.
Rob Woffenden, originally from Marple in Cheshire, is another member of the team. Formerly director of engineering in the group’s Rwanda office, he has now moved to its Kenyan office to help drive its expansion plans.