President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has challenged engineers to be proactive in finding locally grown solutions which will unlock the country’s potential.
President Lungu said this when he officiated at the 2019 Engineering Institution of Zambia Symposium held in Livingstone at Avani Victoria Falls Resort under the theme Sustainable National Development; Issues and Challenges for Zambia’s Development Agenda.
He said the current situation where the country seems to rely much on imported solutions to address local problems must come to an end.
“I am confident that the engineering fraternity can make immense contributions by devising innovative solutions to Zambia’s developmental challenges,” he said.
President Lungu said this can only happen when men and women in the leadership of EIZ who are dynamic, practical and forward looking.
Republican President HE Edgar Lungu and EIZ President Eng. Sydney Matamwandi during the Symposium
He further said there is need for the Institution and the profession at large to seriously invest in research and development for engineering to contribute to the country’s development aspirations.
“For this reason, our country needs a cadre of enterprising engineers to revolutionalise the practice of engineering for the country to reduce importation of technology. Therefore, as you deliberate at this symposium, I implore you to focus on addressing the challenges that undermine the contribution of engineering to the development of our country,” he said.
He said the country has reached a stage where it needs to harness the human capital endowment to respond to challenges facing the country.
President Lungu said some of the challenges include inadequate power supply, clement change, negative impacts of climate change, poor design and poor quality of infrastructure, poor accessibility in rural areas, congestion and population among others.
“Most, if not all these challenges and the consequences they represent, makes it absolutely necessary for the country to have engineering professionals who are conversant with latest development in construction materials, technology and processes,” he said.
President Lungu said for the engineering profession to achieve all these there is need to collaborate with other professionals such as Economists, Lawyers, Environmentalists, Development Planners, Quantity Surveyors, Project and Financial analysts because synergies of this nature will promote sustainable engineering for the benefit of the nation.
He said it is a fact that where engineering projects are designed and implemented in close collaboration with others professionals, project deliverables are not only responsive and sustainable, but are tenable at reasonable cost.
“I now wish to take this opportunity to express concern at the current trend were project costs are escalated through systematic variations and if this trend is left unchecked, it has potential to erode the achievements we have made so far,” he said.
He said before commencement of projects there is need to ensure that everything is factored to avoid situation where the country starts paying more than budgeted for.
He urged the Institution to up its game by constantly monitoring of projects under the national development programme across the country.