By Cynthia Chiyabu Ngwengwe
Federation of African Engineering Organisation (FAEO) President Eng. Julius Riungu says engineers are regarded as important people around the world hence the need to lead through their various projects.
He said engineers are a group of people with innovative minds and it is gratifying to note that the institution chose a theme speaking to innovation and competitiveness.
Eng Riungu said the development of a country and the world at large depends on engineering professionals.
“If you don’t use your brains to innovate new devices, projects and systems and create wealth for the country then there is no one who will do that,” he said.
He said the work of engineering professionals should be to ensure that the environment is conserved which will then help enhance development for the country.
He went on to say that the role of FAEO is to promote the engineering profession in Africa and also represent the interests of Africa in the world federation of engineers.
“We want to work with all African engineering organisations to ensure that engineering in Africa is promoted and all African countries to have the same standards in infrastructure across Africa,” he said.
He said the aim of the organisation is to ensure that engineers in Zambia can be called upon around Africa to work as consultants or contractors.
Eng. Riungu also thanked the president of EIZ for the support towards FAEO activities whenever called upon.
He said EIZ is one of the strongest institutions on the African continent because of a very strong secretariat to run the business of the institution and a Headquarters under construction.
He urged the institution to continue working harder and to be felt in the community.
“The government expects you as engineers to use the resources you have been given for the benefit of the people and consider their interest.” He said.
He went on to say that there are limited resources from government but if used rightly, then the continent will develop and go forward.
Eng Riungu said Africa has become poor because people given the responsibilities to do infrastructure development have decided to abuse the responsibilities.
He urged the engineering professionals in Zambia to take the interest of the people first.
He further said there is need for discipline among African engineers if the continent is to develop.
“I urge you my fellow engineers to aim to be consultants and contractors outside Africa and change the continent of Africa by ensuring that whatever we do is for the good of the people,” he said.
Eng. Riungu also urged the Minister of Infrastructure to support EIZ internship programme so that young engineers are mentored and won’t have to move to other professions due to lack of experience.
He said the internship programme should be taken seriously so that students from universities and colleges will be given internship in industry for them to have experience and get employed and continue developing the country.
He further said if this is not done, then the profession will continue losing young talent to different professions.
Eng Riungu said this requires money and, for the government, it is great investment which will pay dividends in the future.
“So we are urging all the governments around Africa to consider investing in such programmes that will benefit the country.” he said.
He said FAEO is negotiating with various partners including the AU to see how engineering can be supported through providing resources that are needed.
He went on to say that the organisation has also gone into partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering of the United Kingdom to support some of the activities.