The Mozambican Minister of Public Works, Carlos Mesquita, has denounced the proliferation of disordered infrastructures in the country, most of which do not include the provision of basic services such as water and electricity.
According to Mesquita – who was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 1st Congress of Architecture, a two-day event, taking place in Maputo, under the slogan “Resilience of Buildings; Challenges for Professional Practice in Mozambique” – there is currently no real planning throughout Mozambican territory, which makes it difficult to install sanitation, electricity and water networks.
“Our children will ask what we are doing. We need to know how to answer. We have a responsibility to make things better. How many settlements are being built all over the country, where is the planning, the organization?”, he said, adding that “unfortunately, architects do nothing to reorganize existing spaces.”
The minister believed that the congress constitutes a unique opportunity to consolidate issues regarding the construction situation in the country, as well as strengthening the interventionist role of the Mozambican Association of Architects (OArQ), which was created six years ago.
“We hope that the results obtained from this meeting will be an initial milestone, strengthening the Association’s capacity to manage and guide processes in various areas, including construction techniques, organization and other essential dynamics”, he said.
“OArQ is vital for ensuring the implementation of more comprehensive and effective mechanisms governing the professional practice of architecture in the country”, he added.
For his part, Luís Lage, the OrAQ president, said that architects should seek solutions in urbanism and land-use planning, two paradigms that could represent a step forward in the agenda to promote the country’s inclusive and sustainable development.
According to Lage, architecture plays a fundamental role in building spaces that are more resilient and adaptable to the challenges of the contemporary world, including environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, the choice of building materials and the preservation of architectural heritage.
“This Congress today is a unique opportunity for our community of architects, physical planners and urban designers to be inspired and learn from dialogue on best practices and future challenges. It’s a chance to strengthen our profession, and our performance in the world of architecture”, Lage said.