The President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), Ing. Prof. Charles Adams has called to question the attitude of most African governments towards engaging the services of local professional engineers in execution of developmental projects within their various countries, attributing it as a cause of Africa’s backwardness and its inability to solve the developmental problems it is bedeviled with.
According to him, the contributions of professional local engineers are key to the development of any nation, unfortunately their services are not patronized by the governments who rather turn their attention to hiring the services of other engineers working in overseas countries.
He also laments the huge investment that goes into developing the capacities of local professional engineers in their countries of origin, yet their services are ignored over their counterparts abroad.
Ing. Prof. Charles Adams therefore challenged governments of African countries to help prioritize the needs of local engineers, patronize their services regularly and above all ensure massive support for them at all times so they can be comfortable and well positioned to contribute their quota to the development of their countries.
“We spent time and resources to train our people here and yet their services are not engaged. We need the government to patronize our engineers. We don’t have enough of them and the ones we have too, they are not patronized but rather they bring people from all over the world to do things and they take the money away”.
The Ghana Institution of Engineering boss made this known while setting the record straight at a media engagement forum organized on the sidelines of the 7th Edition of Africa Engineering Week and 5th Africa Engineering Conference in Accra on Friday October 8, 2021.
Ing. Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid, President of the Federation of African Engineering Organisation (FAEO) addressing the participants observed that her outfit is poised in its delivery to meet the requirements of the African Continental Trade Agreement (AfCTA) which she indicated revolves around the removal of trade barriers.
“Already as an organization, it is our mission to develop this continent, achieve the AU agenda 2063 and the SDGs with engineering, so we are already working to remove those barriers”.
According to her FAEO has already commenced work on removing those barriers through harmonizing of standards across Africa.
“We have already signed an accord we called the Africa, Asia and the Pacific Accord (AAP Accord) and the objective of this accord is to harmonize standards across Africa with products and services”.
“We are best placed to do our mobilization because after all all the engineering practitioners across the continent who are engaged in manufacturing of goods and provision of services are under our umbrella so what we are proposing now is to start by asking every country what they use so when we get to know that, we can begin a conversation about harmonizing those standards so we are already doing works towards harmonizing products and services as well as mobility of engineers in the continent so that we all use the same kind of measure to measure engineers”, she posited.
The 7th edition of the African Engineering Conference was held under the theme: “Engineering, Inter-African Trade and the Sustainable Development Goals” at the Marriott Hotel, Accra from 4th to 8th October, 2021.
The conference brought together over three hundred (300) participants from Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria, Rwanda, DR Congo among others.
At the end of the 4-day deliberation, the participants and stakeholders among other things have resolved to undertake the following:
· To take necessary steps to institutionalize the relationship between FAEO and AfCTA. The first step is to establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AfCTA.
· To actively engage the AfCTA Secretariat and Heads of Member States in the delivery of solutions to infrastructure required to ensure free trade across Africa.
· To lead in the harmonization of standards and codes across Africa by engaging the relevant regional bodies.
· To assist various governments of member states in the creation of an engineering framework for development.
· Innovate commercially in order to harness the natural resources of our continent.
· Establish an African Fulbright Programme to teach our own. This will also involve the creation of an African University exchange programme among lecturers and students.
· Promote ethical training in curriculum for engineering education.
· Mentor more students in second cycle institutions to pursue engineering through aggressive outreach activities.
· Lead in the synchronization of engineering curriculum within Africa.
· Convince governments of member states to increase funding towards research in engineering.
· Lead in promoting better collaboration between industry and academia.
· Train world class Arbitrators.
· Establish an African arbitration center.
· Lead in the development of Infrastructure.
· Sign the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
· Provide training in intellectual property rights.
It was hosted by the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) and supported by UNESCO and the World Federation of African Engineering Organization (WFEO)/FMO.
About one hundred and fifty (150) participants across the globe joined the conference virtually.
The official opening ceremony was held on 5th October, 2021 and was chaired by Eng. Martin Manuhwa, the immediate past president of FAEO.
The welcome address was given by Ing. Prof. Charles Anum Adams while special messages were given by the president of FAEO, Ing. Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid, Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo of UNESCO, Mrs. Emily Njeri Mburu-Ndoria of ACFTA and the Minister of Works and Housing of Ghana, Hon. Francis Asenso-Boakye. The Minister for Trade and Industry of Ghana, Hon. Alan John K. Kyremanteng delivered the Keynote address.
Source:Joseph Kobla Wemakor|GhanaNewsOne
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