Engineering is the empowering discipline of our time, creating unprecedented advances for sustainability, health, security, and quality of life in our rapidly advancing technological environment.
Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) President said this when he addressed engineering professionals during the 2019 Symposium held under the theme Sustainable National Development; Issues and Challenges for Zambia’s Development Agenda.
Eng. Matamwandi said the role of engineering can only increase because of advancing technological tools, opportunities for making advancements, scientific progress, societal needs, and increasing numbers of engineering systems.
“Engineering education today should also be preparing engineering students for opportunities beyond those in their homeland. It should be preparing them to engage in engineering globally through foreign engineering experiences in multicultural, multidisciplinary, socially conscious initiatives,” he said.
He said engineers from every country must be prepared for serious global engagement, even if the idea may seem remote at the moment. Change is accelerating, globalization continues to expand, and preparation for this reality will be invaluable today and inevitable subsequently.
Members during the Symposium
“We have planned to use this year’s Symposium to, among other things discuss and reflect on the critical role that we play as Engineers in the Country’s development agenda and strategize on how best we can apply our knowledge and skills to advance the betterment of our society in line with our creed, which is to place service before profit, to promote the honor and standing of the profession before personal advantage, and the support public welfare above all other considerations,” he said.
He said the Institution supports works that Government is undertaking, particularly in the area of Infrastructural Development.
Eng. Matamwandi said the Institution is cognizant of the fact that Engineers are on the frontline of the implementation of various projects being undertaken to improve the lives of the people.
“It is in this regard that I wish to deliver a message of assurance, that since your vision and our vision are inextricably intertwined, we pledge our unwavering support to make you succeed. We thank your Government in general and your Excellency in particular, for creating an enabling environment where Engineers are given countless opportunities to practice their trade and contribute to the wellbeing of society,” he said.
He further said the Institution was grateful for Government’s deliberate policies to place Engineering at the center of national development.
He went on to thank government for the 7th National Development Plan which reads like an Engineering Job Description.
“You can count on us to help you implement those plans to achieve the development aspirations of your Government as laid in Vision 2030 and Agenda 2063 to transform Zambia into a Middle Income and Developed Country respectively,” he said.
Eng. Matamwandi said the Institution was also pleased with Government’s pronouncement to encourage the participation of Zambian Engineering Organizations and Professionals in the jobs being undertaken. The policy on 20% contracting to local firms, the availability of finances through Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and restrictions on issuing of Work Permits to foreigners who want to do jobs that can be done by locals are progressive policies that have brought immense benefits to your Citizens, including our members, especially in the SMEs category of business owners.
He said the Engineering Institution of Zambia is appreciative for the magnanimous to have appointed some of the members to positions of leadership in Government, including as Cabinet Ministers and Permanent Secretaries.
“Whereas the massive Engineering Projects going on across the country have brought remarkable benefits to many, EIZ has noted with concern that some areas of the Engineering Sector have been adversely affected. A number of our members in the Contractor and Consultant category of membership have had to close their businesses because of not been paid for works done. In most cases, banks and bailiffs have repossessed assets from these firms, employees have gone for months without pay and companies have been ruined. We are nonetheless, encouraged by pronouncements from your Government that this matter is being looked at, and we look forward to positive results soon”, he said.