Botswana Survey Sector Faces Challenges

Posted On Friday, 19 August 2005 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The president of the United Kingdom based Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Steven Williams visited the country on Monday on a fact-finding mission.



Williams said they wanted to find out what they could do for RICS Botswana. RICS, an international property professional body with its head office in the United Kingdom, represents the surveying profession, including quantity surveyors, general practice surveyors and land surveyors.

RICS's role is to promote best practice, regulate and protect consumers from business and communities. It is the home of property related knowledge and is an impartial advisor. The governing council is the top decision-making body in RICS. It sets the direction and strategy for the organisation and is made up of over 60 chartered surveyors drawn from all over the world.

During a business luncheon at the Gaborone Sun, Williams said they needed to make RICS relevant in today's business world.

He said unlike some institutions, they have a go-ahead leadership which recognises world changes.

He recalled that the previous RICS president visited Botswana in 1994 but things have changed since then. However, he reiterated that the challenges facing Botswana are not different from those being experienced anywhere in the world.

During his one-day visit, Williams also held a meeting with government officials.

Introducing Williams, the president of RICS Botswana, Mpho Moremong, said after qualifying and working in Liverpool and London as a valuer, Williams spent a number of years working in South Africa, Australia and the Caribbean before moving to the Untied States in the early 80s where he founded Williams Appraisers Inc. With offices in North Carolina and New York, the firm specialises in commercial and investment valuation. Williams operates Williams Appraisers Education Centre and provides expert witness testimony. He is a visiting lecturer at Duke University as well as RICS external examiner at MIT and Georgia State University.

In the past decade, Williams has been actively involved in international valuation standards and valuations for financial reporting. His overriding theme is "Global financial stability though valuation competence".

Moremong said they were excited and motivated by Williams' visit and added that it will help in raising the profile of RICS Botswana.

Moremong said Williams was impressed by what the Botswana RICS chapter was doing. She disclosed that her committee meets every month.

"We also organise events dealing with professional development on a regular basis," she said.

Moremong said since Williams took over in July, Botswana is the first country he has visited and is scheduled to visit South Africa and Zambia.

During his visit, Williams was presented with an oil painting by the former president of RICS Botswana, Olebeng Ngwakwena, which was drawn by one of the RICS members who is also an artist, Laurence Hutchings.

Williams promised to auction the painting to raise funds for local charities.

In his brief remarks, Ngwakena said the RICS official was visiting the country at a time when the economy is doing badly. He said Botswana has been hit by drought and small companies are suffering. However, Ngwakwena noted that they have been able to develop the local association.

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