Seasoned Kenyan Quantity Surveyor David Gaitho has risen to the helm of the Africa Association of Quantity Surveyors (AAQS), a continental body that brings together all national professional bodies across the continent.
He takes over the mantle from South African Rob Pearl who has served as the Chairman from 2014 and whose tenure came to a close during the AAQS 7thGeneral Assembly held last week in Kampala, Uganda.
Gaitho will lead the association for the next three years during which he is expected to champion the promotion of modern standards in calculation of construction costs and financial modelling.
With over 25 years’ experience in the construction industry, Gaitho has previously served as the Vice President of Eastern Region for AAQS, Chairman of the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya and is currently the Managing Director for Amazon Consultants.
Speaking when he received the baton from Rob Pearl, Gaitho said that he was honoured to be asked to provide leadership to the region’s quantity surveying professionals at a time when Africa is registering a high construction industry growth.
“The role of quantity surveyors has evolved as complexity and nature of construction projects changed over the years. Africa is on the threshold of putting together major, unique developments and the innovations in technology is expected to bring sharper focus on our work,” said Gaitho noting that transnational projects like the standard gauge railways and planned oil pipelines had brought sharp focus on its project management professionals.
With all the developments taking place, Gaitho pointed out that all construction industry professionals, now more than ever, need to put their heads together to forge a common direction and standardisation of practise and to instil confidence that they can run with and manage small to large scale projects in line with best practice.
He explained that quantity surveyors have increasingly taken the overall project management roles for construction projects and for that reason, the pressure to deliver is now on them. “We have to work even more closely with architects, engineers, contractors and the regulators as a key interface with the developers and project sponsors,” he added.
Gaitho has wide experience having worked in both government and the private sectors. At Amazon Consultants, he has serviced clients from banks to government institutions, SACCOS and microfinance institutions, parastatals, universities, religious organisations and international institutions. Some of these clients include African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), Safaricom, Kenya Commercial Bank, Cooperative Bank of Kenya, HF Group, National Assembly, Kenya Airways, National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK), United States Agency for International Development (USAid), the University of Nairobi and the United Nations, among others.
He is the second Kenyan to head the continental body, whose headquarters are in Midrand, South Africa, after Dan Kimoro who served as president of of the association between 2008 and 2011.