African Engineers converge to merge ICT and engineering  


June 29, 2018

By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

Participants at the conference

Engineers across Africa and the world have converged in Sierra Leone to take a hard look at how Information Communication and Technology can position the continent, its engineering solutions and improve its place in the global industry.

The three-day biennial conference, which was organized by the Sierra Leone Institute of Engineers (SLIE) at the Golden Tulip Hotel ,Aberdeen on the theme; “The Role of Information and Communication Technology in Sustainable National Development” attracted over one hundred engineer professionals and students.

The official opening of the conference was done on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, by the Minister of Works and Public Assets, Raymond Ernest De’Souza George on behalf of President Julius Maada Bio.

The Minister said the president has committed to giving his fullest support to the professionals and desires them success in this year’s biennial conference.

He said president Bio was looking forward to the collaboration of the engineers as he considered them an essential catalyst in the nation’s development.

“As I tender sincere apology for his absence due to the volume of issues demanding his attention, I will like to challenge your innovative instinct as the president is one who is known to be very much committed to innovation, breaking new grounds and facing challenges head-on,” he said.

He said the theme for the conference was essential as the New Direction peoples manifesto focus special attention for ICT as statistic around the world have proved that countries that take ICT seriously would develop faster than others that do not.

He noted that Africans must be the solution to Africa problems and urged them not to lose sight of the reality that the world was already a global village, thus noting that a ‘lot of complexity have been and can further be simplified and made possible by  the buttons at your fingertips’.

Vice President of the Ghana Institute of Engineering, Engineer Theophilus Okyne, said the theme for this year’s conference was very apt because he was convinced that the tools of ICT will be applied to national development and such development must be sustainable.

President for the Federation of Africa Engineering Organisation, Engineer Julius M. Riungu, said as the umbrella body for the region, their aim among other things,was to ensure that African engineers practice freely across the continent without necessarily going through special registration process.

He observed that the rate of development of any nation can be determined by the quality of its engineers.  He stated that Engineering was the will of development for any nation, thus urging the student engineers to live up to expectation.

 “Therefore the people of Serra Leone are looking up to you to foster development with quality infrastructure so that their quality of living can be improved. You have a big role to play in the development of this nation,” he said.

Riungu made a passionate call on African leaders to expand their universities and established internship programs for engineering students so that African engineers can be productive and stop depending on foreign engineers because they were not sustainable it is not sustainable.

“Africa is facing challenges of training its engineers. We have expanded our universities’ training field but we are lacking professionals to deliver this particular curriculum, therefore we are appealing with world governments to ensure they support our various institutions of learning. We also want to appeal to government across Africa to offer internship training programs for all engineering students,” he called.

Meanwhile, the confab will be concluded today with professionals developing a roadmap for African Engineers.