FBW Group to design Medical Research Council Unit in West Africa

  • FBW is a design, architectural, and engineering-led multi-disciplinary company that has demonstrated skill, ethics and extensive experience in the implementation of development projects, in addition to developing Africa Skills-Base
  • FBW Group continues to expand on its excellent working ties, with key health organisations across Africa.
  • FBW Group designed the Medical Research Council Unit in west Africa

FBW is a design, architectural, and engineering-led multi-disciplinary company that has demonstrated skill, ethics and extensive experience in the implementation of development projects that are robust, reliable and compliant.

Based in Uganda, it serves as the East African base and in addition, it has well-established centres of business in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Netherlands.

The company was the only architectural firm included in the British Chamber of Commerce Kenya chapter’s 2021 Integrity Index list that was published by the chamber (BCCK).

BCCK Integrity Index rewards businesses that demonstrate their commitment to operating in a “trusted and ethical” manner. It is based on an evaluation of a company’s compliance with applicable regulations, its track record, and its internal procedures against corruption.

Expansion into West Africa

An artistic impression of the Gambia’s medical research centre. [Photo/FBW]
As FBW Group continues to expand on its excellent working ties, with key health organisations across Africa, it has been given the opportunity to design a project at a premier Gambia medical research centre. In this capacity, FBW Group has been hired as a consultant after a competitive bidding process.

The development work at the Medical Research Council Unit in the Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM) in Fajara is FBW’s first big design project in West Africa.

FBW is in the process of building a brand new housing block and a cutting-edge training centre, both of which will have a combined area of around 2,000 square metres and will increase the facilities that are now accessible on-site.

Within the West African area, it will be home to an unparalleled concentration of scientific competence as well as research platforms of exceptionally high calibre in the fields of medicine and public health.

It is the most recent in a string of medical development projects that FBW Group has assisted in delivering in Africa since the company was founded more than 25 years ago. These projects include work for the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

The Medical Research Council (MRC)  has created two research units in sub-Saharan Africa, the latest being The Gambia at LSHTM. Both organisations are active in a variety of programmes in Africa, working together to increase research capability into some of the existing and developing health concerns that are affecting the continent.

“We have a strong working relationship with MRC that dates back more than 10 years, and we’re extremely pleased to have been appointed to this latest development for organisations that are at the forefront of medical research in Africa,” said Stuart Harley, director of operations for FBW.

“We’re truly honoured to have been selected to this newest development for these organisations that stand at the centre of health studies research in the African continent.” It is also gratifying to be expanding our presence on the continent and to be working on a significant design project for the very first time in West Africa.

He went on to say that the amenities at the unit would be improved as a result of the design work that we would be carrying out. People who are attending short-term courses, for instance, will be able to stay on-site as a result of the improvements made to the accommodations. And the training centre, which will be a structure in its own right, will bring upgraded training and conference amenities adding vast value, both internally and externally. ”

The chief operating officer of the MRC Gambia Unit, Dr. Davis Nwakanma, stated that the organisation is “looking forward to major benefits from this new cooperation with FBW.” To support our function as a central location in the region for the provision of education and the enhancement of research capabilities for future generations of scientists, the unit is confident that their expertise in the field of design and development of educational, health, and corporate infrastructure will enable the delivery of a facility that is truly state-of-the-art.

Uganda Project


For more than a decade, FBW has fostered a solid working partnership with the Uganda Medical Research Council (MRC), which included the establishment of the first phase of a research clinic with cutting-edge technology at a cost of $1 million (US) located in Entebbe. The Entebbe clinic that was created offers a variety of facilities that may accommodate leading and high-standard medical research, such as vaccine trials.

Malawi Project

Clinical Research Excellence And Training Open Resource Design: FBW Group. [Photo/e-architect.com]
Additionally, FBW was involved in a high-profile project with a budget of £9.5 million to build Malawi’s first speciality Centre for postgraduate medical education. The Clinical Research and Training Open Resource (Creator) will offer an environment for research that is the most advanced in the country. Creator is a collaboration between the College of Medicine at the University of Malawi, Queen Elizabeth’s Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), the University of Liverpool, and the Wellcome Trust.

“We are quite proud of the portfolio of clinics, hospitals, and research facilities that we have worked to help provide and which have impacted people in so many different ways,” you may quote one of our employees as saying

According to Stuart Harley, “Over the last 25 years, FBW has developed strong partnerships with the healthcare sector as well as with significant organisations functioning in Africa that are at the forefront of research.” You are welcome to paraphrase one of our workers when they say something like, “We are extremely delighted with the variety of hospitals, clinics and research amenities that we have helped to give and that have been a part of our efforts to benefit people in so many different ways”.

FBW’s role in developing the African skills base

FBW Group is one of a handful of East African companies that has taken the lead in developing the continent’s skill base. Key members of the company management team, including, Nigel Tilling – Group Projects Director, Paul Moores – Group Managing Director, and Antje Eckoldt – Group Director and Kenya Country Manager; are members of the external review panels of various East African Universities. In this capacity, they are developing local capacity and transferring their technical knowledge and skills to university students.

An in-house internship programme gives college students the opportunity to gain work experience ranging from three months to one year. During this time, the students are given active roles and tasks and are exposed to all areas of FBW.

Having a Continued Professional Development programme in-house not only helps the company’s employees develop further, but it also allows the company’s international employees the opportunity to talk about their experiences. The company offers its mid-tier and junior staff members a flexible working schedule, which not only gives them the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of working conditions but also strengthens their training.

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Maingi Gichuku is passionate about helping African businesses grow by offering technology solutions. With a BSC in Zoology and biochemistry, Gichuku yearns for an Africa that can find solutions to its challenges. My drive is to see an economically dynamic Africa and embrace its populations by creating opportunities cutting across the social and economic strata.

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