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Lungu challenges engineers to be proactive

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.

EIZ appreciative of Government efforts

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.

EIZ Disciplinary Committee in place

During this year’s Annual General Meeting, the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) Disciplinary Committee was put in place to fully execute its mandate to enforce the code of ethics and professional conduct of the members of EIZ. During the same meeting elections were held to elect five registered EIZ members to sit on the committee.
The committee also comprises of two legal practitioners who will be chairperson and vice chairperson respectively.
The following are the disciplinary committee members;
1. Ms. Dras Maria Neves – Chairperson
2. Mrs. Martha Kashala Tembo – Vice Chairperson
3. Eng. Sydney Matamwandi – Member
4. Eng. Musompa K. Masanza – Member
5. Eng. Elson Banda – Member
6. David Chomba Chakonta – Member
7. Alinani Msisya – Member
8. Levi Zulu – Member

ZWES Elects new Executive

The Zambia Women in Engineering Section (ZWES) has put in place a new executive after all positions went unopposed, except for the position of technologist which did not have any nomination.

The following are the new executive members of ZWES
1. Eng. Ennie Muchelemba – Chairperson
2. Eng. Agness Mofya Mwansa – Vice Chairperson
3. Eng. Edith Munungwe – Engineers Representative
4. Tec. Kwimbi Namwila – Technician Representative
5. Cra. Nchimunya Mulala – Craftsperson’s Representative

EIZ confers 50 Fellows

The Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) conferred fifty (50) Fellows during its 2019 Symposium and Gala dinner.
The class of Fellow which is the highest category of engineering classes saw the following being conferred as Fellows:

Eng. Dr. Brian Mushimba being conferred

Eng. Schalla Mulenga Mwakazanga being conferred

Eng. Balimu Mwiya

Women In Engineering Critical In Socio-Economic Development

By Cynthia Chiyabu Ngwengwe

Women in Engineering play a critical role in socio-economic development thereby improving people’s livelihood.

Gender Acting Minister Hon. Sylvia Chalikosa said this when she launched the International Women in Engineering day which is an awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available in industry.

Hon. Chalikosa said global efforts to promote engineering include among them the UNESCO engineering initiative which was established by the 36th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011 to address major challenges in engineering.

“Among the challenges were shortage of engineers around the world, decreased interest in engineering as a career option for young people and the under-representation of women in engineering” she said.

She went on to say that in line with UNESCO’s global priorities on Africa and gender equality, UNESCO engineering initiative focuses on women and the African region in their activities and programmes.

Hon. Chalikosa said the initiative aims to encourage women to pursue engineering studies and retain women engineers in the profession.

She further said the initiative will help fulfil the human resource need as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, innovation and entrepreneurship have been acknowledged to immensely contribute to a better society, economy, and the nation.

“Although the world has changed with a number of initiatives created to support women in engineering, the need is very much still there as governments and industries across the industrialised world have sponsored efforts to increase representation of women in engineering” she said.

She said engineering still remains a largely male-dominated occupation in most countries with an estimated 10-20% woman in the engineering workforce.

She went on to say that even though there has been an increase in numbers of female students in engineering, it is still not significant because women face different challenges, ranging from educational constraints, cultural norms and prejudices which influence opportunities and choices thereby significantly reducing the number of women engineers employed in their field of expertise.

She further said that the number of female graduates has increased from one in the late 70s to about 10 today which still is low, and less than 10% of the total registered engineers in Zambia are women.

“I am delighted to note that the Institution launched the Zambia Women in Engineering Section which will help increase the number and advance the prominence of women in engineering in Zambia.” she said.

She said this will also ensure national competitiveness by leading and supporting the institution’s efforts to expand female participation which is in line with national and global efforts.

The minister called on the section to identify challenges that prevent girls from pursuing careers in engineering and endeavour to overcome them in order to achieve gender parity.

The International Women in Engineering Day was charaterised with motivational talks held at the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University.

Aspire To Serve The Nation, Chitotela

By Cynthia Chiyabu Ngwengwe

EIZ as a professional body has the mandate to protect the image of engineering and advise government when policies are formulated.
Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Hon. Ronald Chitotela said this when he officiated at the 2018 EIZ AGM at Avani Victoria Falls Resort in Livingstone.

Hon. Chitotela said engineering professionals must aspire to serve the nation and address all engineering challenges in the country.

He said Zambia is what it is today because of engineering professionals and not politicians.

He said there is need to review the EIZ Act to ensure that professionals who do shoddy works are held accountable in the implementation of various infrastructures.

Hon. Chitotela said African engineers should take a lead in engineering works and not leave all engineering works to foreigners.

“I challenge the engineers to be innovative and create standards that will be acceptable not only in Africa but the world and create things that will stand and not just fix things but create innovative things that are not there,” he said.

He went on to say that there is need for professionals and politicians to work together in order to develop and take the country’s economy forward.

He went on to say that the symposium theme “Engineering for an innovative and competitive Zambia” is appropriate and a step in the right direction towards encouraging and uplifting engineering in order to achieve an innovative and competitive Zambia.

“The engineering fraternity is crucial to a nation’s prosperity because engineering contributes enormously to every country’s social and economic development and without access to engineering products, any country’s economy would likely grind to a halt and so, the engineering fraternity has the responsibility to improve the life of citizens in Zambia almost more than any other.”

“As minister in charge of engineering in the country I am happy that the engineering profession is working at finding solutions through such gatherings that aim to compliment government efforts of achieving innovative infrastructure development for the country as outlined in the 7th National Development Plan.”

“As government we believe that infrastructure is an essential driver of competitiveness which is critical for ensuring the effective functioning of any economy in the country,” he said.

He said in an effort to improve the business environment, government has set out to make the country more attractive by enhancing infrastructure development and that is why professionals are needed to help actualise government efforts by contributing to development and construction of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, solar and hydro power projects, hospitals, schools, water reticulation systems and other support infrastructure thereby help set the stage for socio-economic development.

“Being innovative will not only result in economic growth but also attract investors because better and improved infrastructure promotes sustainable and socially inclusive economic growth,” he said.

He went on to say that one innovative engineering project that government has embarked on is the construction of the 321-kilometre Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway which will be a solution for the country’s socio-economic challenges, as it is an important route to and from the democratic Republic of Congo and other Southern African Development Community and Common Market for Eastern and Southern African countries.

Hon. Chitotela said this showed that government is striving at improving the country through the many engineering projects that are being carried out with professional advice from the engineering professionals.

He further said government appreciates the institution’s efforts towards improving the engineering image in the country, through various contributions when called upon by government.

“Clearly, your commitment in advising the government on matters of engineering is a clear indication of a strong relationship that has been developed between the policy marker, professionals, and regulatory bodies such as yourselves,” he said.

He said government has already set the agenda to create an innovative and competitive environment for the people of Zambia as seen through the various projects going on around the country such as the construction of a new international terminal at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and a Greenfield airport, at the Copperbelt International Airport.

“For us to be competitive amongst other countries, government is promoting the establishment of economic zones, industrial parks and innovation hubs in order to broaden its capacity to meet empowerment demands among the people of Zambia,” he said.

Innovation Is Key – Sitali

By Cynthia Chiyabu Ngwengwe

Being innovative is a critical ingredient for staying on top and remaining a leading institution in the country because innovation is shaping the 21st century business ecosystem.

EIZ Immediate Past President Eng. George Sitali said this when he addressed delegates during the 2018 National Symposium held in Livingstone at the Avani Victoria Falls Resort under the theme “engineering for an innovative and competitive Zambia”.

“Our theme this year reflects growing recognition of the power and importance of bringing engineering minds together to find common solutions to engineering problems in the country,” he said.

He said EIZ is making headways in ensuring that engineering professionals have a platform to offer their innovative ideas and find common solutions to the many engineering challenges the country is facing.

Eng. Sitali said “The institution has always made itself available whenever called upon to offer engineering advice to the government on national issues through parliamentary submissions which we believe are helping government and contributing to the development of our country.”

He went on to say that the theme of the conference is a challenge for all engineering professional to offer their expertise in the development of innovation in the country and ensure that Zambia is competitive on the world map.

“As an institution, innovation is key and that is why we introduced the inventors and innovators forum aimed at giving a platform to emerging inventors and exposing them to key stakeholders that can have a hand in the development of their projects; and so far the institution has held two such events in collaborations with other stakeholders that have a direct hand in the development of innovation in the country,” he said.

He said the Institution also the held two business meetings that targeted fellows and CEOs of stakeholder institutions aimed at introducing mentorship and internship programmes for young engineers because it was noted that there was a very big gap between the young engineering professionals in the development process.

“The institution has also made headways in ensuring that young engineering professionals are given an opportunity to practice through internships to keep our next generation in line with the tenets of the fourth industrial revolution which is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, block chain, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the internet of things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles,” he said.

Eng Sitali said while the basic underpinning of engineering education remains familiar, the environment and context within which young engineering professionals will need to practice reflects challenges and opportunities that are unique to today because engineering has and always will shift its focus between applied and theoretical, hands-on and analytical approaches to meet the needs of the day.

He further said there is need to maintain a focus on technical and analytical excellence in the engineering profession.

“We need to lift our minds and have the creativity, intellect and courage to find ways to make engineering innovative and competitive for a better Zambia regardless of whether it’s in medicine or energy, computing, or transport – your involvement leads to products and services that make people’s lives better, healthier and safer,” he said.

Eng. Sitali further said innovation is crucial for maintaining the dynamism and resilience of the economy as future challenges are impossible to predict, but what is certain is that an economy better able to switch gears, innovate solutions, and re-deploy old activities, jobs, and industries will be least susceptible to adversity.

EIZ Continues To Support UNZA Performance Awards

By Cynthia Chiyabu Ngwengwe

EIZ Vice President Policy, Public Relations and National Development Eng. Eugene Haazele said sponsoring student performance awards not only motivates students to high performance but also to develop human capital for engineers ready for industry.

Eng. Haazele said this is an opportunity for industries to contribute to national development through provision of quality education in Zambia.

Eng. Haazele said this during the University of Zambia School of Engineering 2018 prize giving ceremony where EIZ sponsored the prize for the best third year and best fourth year students in School of Engineering.

“We wish to state that this partnership between industry and academics will and should always continue and we appeal to other industry partners to join us in supporting the University of Zambia,” he said.

He urged the recipients of the awards to continue working even harder and encouraged those who had not won to emulate those who had won and strive to even do better.

And speaking earlier, UNZA Vice Chancellor Prof. Luke Mumba said there is need to nature the relationship between industry and academics in order to continue achieving excellence in academia.

Prof. Mumba said he was happy to note that most of the prizes/awards in the School of Engineering continue to be sponsored by private organisations.
“This is as it should be, to have a partnership between the manpower trainers and the end users of the trainees,” he said.

He went on to say that as a public institution, the university always values all the contributions which the private sectors offer to enhance the quality of education at the University of Zambia.

Prof. Mumba challenged all stakeholders to come on board in developing the engineering human resource that this country requires.
“As a reflection of its national standard, the School of Engineering attracts some of the best science students in the country and we take pride in the quality and relevance of teaching,” he said.

He said the school continues to improve its contribution to international development through regular curriculum reviews.

He went on to say that apart from Bachelor’s degrees, the institution also offers masters and PhDs degrees in Engineering and all the degrees are accepted by the Engineering institution of Zambia and others professional bodies to fulfil the requirements of entering the industry as professional engineers.

Dean of the School of Engineering Eng. Dr Mundia Muya thanked sponsors, parents and guardians for their continued support towards engineering.