Engineers under their professional body have asked the government to fast-track the Engineers Professionals Bill 2022.
Speaking at the 2023 National Technology Conference and Exhibition (NTCE) 2023, Andrew Muhwezi, the UIPE president, asked the government to give the bill speedy consideration to iron out a few challenges in the profession.
Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport, pledged to fast-track the Engineers Professionals Bill 2022 to help check masqueraders and also increase public confidence in the engineering profession.
He assured the engineers that the bill is already out of the cabinet.
”The bill is out of the cabinet and we are now getting the certificate of financial implication so that we push it to another level and I know when it gets to parliament, it’s a done deal,” Gen. Katumba said.
While opening the event, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa, also pledged support to the engineers.
However, he challenged them (engineers) to put innovation at the center of their work.
He said innovation will help the African Continent to find homegrown solutions to its challenges, especially in the road and construction sector.
He advised professional engineers to exploit the emerging opportunities for innovation and make a contribution to the continent’s socio-economic transformation.
He said the profession will have to take a more strategic and holistic approach to managing and developing national infrastructure projects to help address such challenges.
“Why don’t we set standards and share knowledge for the African continent on such projects because the terrain is more or less the same, the cost of labor is a little bit close, and the cost of materials are also in the same price range,” he said, adding that these can be done through collaboration.
Running under the theme: “Tapping Engineering opportunities for accelerated African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation, the two-day conference has brought over 500 engineers, stakeholders, students, and the public from the African continent.
Tayebwa also told engineers that both the Parliament and the government are pursuing measures to promote local content in the implementation of infrastructure projects.
He warned engineers to desist from corrupt practices as they compete for work or consultancy services.
Eng. Papias Dedeki Kazawadi, the President of the Federation of the African Engineering Organization, said for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to be implemented well, there is a need for deliberate collaboration between professionals including engineers among those that are key to the tapping of opportunities that AfCTA presents.
He said the 26th edition of NTCE aims to create a platform where key stakeholders within the engineering fraternity can exchange knowledge, explore innovative ideas, share experiences, present research findings, and discuss cutting-edge technologies and approaches.
Commenting on the same, Muhwezi said that the conference will feature thought-provoking discussions on leveraging engineering expertise to enhance Uganda’s value proposition within the AfCFTA trade ecosystem, particularly by ensuring the availability of strategic engineering goods and services.