The National Construction Authority Woman Contractor of the Year Awards Cemerony was held yesterday at the Safari Park Hotel –Kenya with surprise for Suleco, who went home as winners. Apart from being a day for the winners, the Women Contractor Award 2014 event availed a great opportunity for companies in the building and construction sector to network.
Taking place for the first time ever after the initiation of the idea in 2014, the award ceremony held last night was attended by among other leaders, the Principal Secretary to the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Mariamu El Maawy, who represented Cabinet Secretary Hon. Charity K. Ngilu who was the Guest of Honor, National Construction Authority (NCA) Executive Director, Daniel O. Manduku, Athi ARM Cement Managing Director Pradeep Paunrana, Association of Kenyan Women in Construction (AKEWIC) Chair-lady, Tabby Rose Wanja, and NCA Chairman Mr. Steven Oundo.
ARM Cement awarded Suleco Ksh. 1,000,000 worth of cement as winners of the 2014 award. The company’s Managing Director Pradeep Paunrana presented the award to the winners. ARM Cement, formerly known as Athi River Mining operates in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa and Rwanda, and runs cement manufacturing plants and also manufactures industrial chemicals, minerals and special building products.
Eunitech Engineering Limited emerged as the first runners-up, while the second runners-up was Zueda Zee Ent Ltd. Eunitech Engineering Ltd took away Ksh. 500,000 worth of Orientile Roofing materials from Mabati Rolling Mills.
Sadolin Paints EA Ltd gave away Ksh.250,000 worth of paint to the second runners-up Zueda Zee Enterprises Ltd. Namunyak Contractors Ltd emerged best in the Road Works Contractor category and took away Ksh100,000 from the Housing Finance.
Suleco went forward to win the award to beat other nominees such as Dry Dock Suppliers Limited, Riza Works, Eunitech Engineering Ltd, Mankone Construction, Namunyak Contractors, Eminanjo Construction, Zueda Zee Enterprises, all being women contractors/companies in the construction industry. The ten nominees were subjected to a voting process after they won in an evaluation in a more largely inclusive initial nomination stage.
The idea of the Woman Contractor of the Year Award 2014 was, according to National Construction Authority, born on August last year during the Women Contractors’ Dinner hosted by Hon. Charity Ngilu. Thus the award came a long way into becoming a reality. NCA has been in the forefront in organizing and making the award known.
The constitution already requires that tenders to be awarded must focus on Women, Youth and Persons with Disability. Part of other successes celebrated by women contractors and construction companies include the fully-fledged women contractors association – Kenyan Women in Construction (AKEWIC) – formed after the last year’s Women Contractors’ Dinner.
The award will now be held every year by the National Construction Authority is under the Ministry of Lands,Housing and Urban Development and seeks to streamline, overhaul and regulate the construction industry in Kenya and establish, a code of conduct in the industry. The criteria for selection in the 2014 event included need for tax compliance by the company, normal company registration certificate, NCA’s registration certificate, award letters from construction projects and final completion certificates for undertaken projects, as well as business permits from the County level, among others.
In a bid to empower local contractors compete more with foreign investors in winning tenders, the Kenya Commercial Bank recently announced it would finance local contractors willing to be involved in the recently launched 10, 000km road construction project. The first 3, 000km phase is set to begin in December this year where many local firms failed to qualify.
The government has launched a program where contractors will use their own funds to finance construction operations and then be refunded the money later after satisfaction of completion of construction works.