The working environment in Botswana is stable, and civil and structural engineering firm ADA Consulting Engineers welcomes the country’s focus on infrastructure development, which the company is well-positioned to support, says ADA Consulting Engineers director Paul Maitre.
The company’s office, in Botswana, employs 15 people and is supported by its office in Johannesburg, which has 17 employees. The company is working on more than 20 projects that are at various stages of development in Botswana.
These projects include infrastructure development in the mining, retail, hospitality, education and industrial sectors.
Last year, ADA Consulting Engineers completed work for the extension of the Airport Junction shopping centre, in Gaborone. The company was first involved in Phase 2A of the project that started in 2015, with the design and development of the premises of Virgin Active Club. It is the first and only Virgin Active gym in Botswana.
Phase 2B started in the mid-2017 and was completed at the end of last year. The scope of work entailed underground parking and a substantial addition to the existing multistorey shopping centre.
Maitre points out that the biggest challenge of this project was undertaking construction next to the existing shops and in the middle of the parking area. A phased approach had to be followed to ensure that there was adequate parking available during construction.
The company also did structural and civil engineering, including supporting utilities, for a hotel of hospitality company Hilton in the Gaborone central business district (CBD). The mixed-use development occupies a full block in the CBD and also includes parking and a five-storey commercial building for offices and retail.
ADA Consulting Engineers started this project in 2017 and the development opened for business in February this year. Maitre highlights that it will have a positive impact on the tourism and hospitality industry and meet the demand for hotel beds in Gaborone, adding that the High Court, as well as many large listed companies, are in close proximity to the new development.
The company is also busy with the structural and civil engineering for a multistorey parking lot and double-storey retail development for the Galo Mall, in Francistown, Botswana. The design phase started in September last year and construction started in February, with completion expected in November this year.
“The economic development, infrastructure spend and increased retail demand in Francistown is indicative of a growing economy,” Maitre points out.
Rest of Africa
ADA Consulting Engineers has completed projects in Nigeria, Algeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia.
Maitre points out that executing projects in African countries can be challenging, with access to local contractors with adequate competencies being the primary challenge.
He notes that most of the projects that the company undertakes are for South African companies operating in other African countries that require a sophisticated engineering consulting service and seek consultants from South Africa and Botswana.
Africa’s gross domestic product per capita is relatively low, at 2.5%, which provides substantial opportunity for growth if infrastructure is developed. Maitre enthuses that the governments of Rwanda, Kenya and Nigeria are focused on doubling or even tripling growth, which provides opportunity for ADA Consulting Engineers in those regions.
Further, the company is working on the extension of the Legend Hotel Lagos Airport, Curio Collection by Hilton at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in the Ikeja district of Nigeria.
The first phase of the hotel, comprising 20 rooms, as well as conferencing and business facilities, started in 2012. Phase 2, comprising 36 rooms started in 2014. The developments opened early this year. Phase 3 started in 2017 and entails the building of an additional 96 rooms currently under way and the development is due for opening next year.
ADA Consulting Engineers is involved in the structural design of the development, including supporting utilities such as the fire system, water storage and generators with diesel storage.
Meanwhile, the company is in a prime position to benefit from working with international clients who have investment funds spearheading into Africa, Maitre mentions.
“ADA Consulting Engineers wants to create a greater presence in Africa. By reaching into other African markets, the company reduces its exposure to local development cycles. Our presence in Botswana with its buoyant economy has proved to be an enormous benefit to the company amid the depressed South African economy,” he concludes.