All practicing architects in Uganda will have to fulfill the demands of the newly formulated and accented by-laws if they are to have their licenses renewed.
Speaking to about 100 architects gathering at a hotel in Kampala on July 18, Robert Kigundu, the chairperson board of directors for the Architects Registration Board (ARB) – an entity of government – said, the new by-laws are; Continuing Profession Development No. 15; and Signboards and Project License Plates No. 16 of 2019.
The two by-laws were passed in 2018 and gazetted in 2019, paving the way for their immediate implementation.
Under the first by-law [Continuous Professional Development], every practicing architect will be required to acquire some new learning in the profession and accumulate a maximum of 20 points to be able to renew their practicing license with the Board.
The other law that has to do with signboards mainly targets collapsing buildings. It will require any practicing architect to have their name visibly put on a signboard outside a site of a building.
“The laws apply to all kinds of buildings as long as an architect is involved,” Kigundu said.
Several architects have been exploiting this gap in the law at the expense of investors or owners of buildings, according to Kigundu. The signboards come at a cost reported in the region of Shs200, 000- 1million, depending on the plan of the building.
This development comes at a time a section of the population is mourning the sudden death of six children caused by a collapsed wall mid-last month – near Lohana High School in Old Kampala.
Uganda only has 270 registered architects. The government continues to encourage school-going students to pick an interest in studying this field as a solution to some of the sector’s challenges.
The Architects Registration Board is mandated by the law of Parliament to regulate the practice of architecture in the country. One of its roles is to come up with new by-laws.