ACEK CHAIRMAN:-ENG.JAMES.N.MWANGI’S SPEECH FOR THE END YEAR DINNER OF ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF KENYA.

The Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Eng. Joseph K. Njoroge, Sponsors, Invited guests, ACEK Council members and Members, Young Engineers, University Engineering Student representatives, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening.

On behalf of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Kenya, I would like to thank you all for attending this second ACEK’s annual Gala dinner. It is indeed a great evening for contractors, engineers and our other partners. It is gratifying to note the government is fully committed to rolling out the development of infrastructure at a fast pace. The government has made tremendous progress in the development of infrastructure in the recent years thereby not only benefitting the country in general but also the construction and engineering industry in particular.

On behalf of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Kenya, I would like to thank you all for attending this second ACEK’s annual Gala dinner. It is indeed a great evening for contractors, engineers and our other partners. It is gratifying to note the government is fully committed to rolling out the development of infrastructure at a fast pace. The government has made tremendous progress in the development of infrastructure in the recent years thereby not only benefitting the country in general but also the construction and engineering industry in particular.

ACEK has been in existence since 1968 and caters for the welfare of consulting engineers in Kenya. . It was started with the aim of promoting the Advancement of the Professionalism of Consulting Engineers by associating together for consultation and co-operation of those engineers whose work is of a purely consultative character. It is affiliated to the International federation of consulting and engineers (FIDIC) which is the global body for consulting engineers and GAMA (Group of African Members Associations who are members of FIDIC).FIDIC Member Associations represent over 60,000 consulting firms, employing over 1.5million staff globally.

ACEK’s Vision: To be the body of reference representing business and professional interests of all consulting engineering firms in Kenya.
ACEK’s Mission:To promote and improve the business and professional interests of our members in the built and natural environment, and while so doing, accept and uphold or responsibilities to society and the environment.
ACEK’s achievements this year include:-
•    ACEK participated in the LAUNCH OF AWESOME season II… NTV news,9.45 pm.The first  episode was 28th January,2015.Producer is Intercontinental Publishers Limited.

•    ACEK welcomed 7 new members to the Association.

•   Dispute Resolution Board Foundation Annual Regional Conference and Workshop was held in Nairobi on 26th & 27th February 2015.ACEK was one of the supporters.
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•    From PPP/Treasury unit: – ACEK Chairman and ACEK members participated in a workshop on the Roads Annuity Program, to discussthe Road Annuity Fund Regulations.

•   The Public Private Partnerships Petition Committee organized a workshop on the Petition Committee regulations. ACEK members participated and gave their input.

•    APSEA: -Participation in Networking breakfast meetings.

•    KEPSA: This year, ACEK has participated in professional forums, sector board meetings and Presidential round tables.

•    EBK’s launch of their Strategic Plan 2014-2019:-.ACEK sponsored this event and ACEK Chairman,Eng.James.N.Mwangi was one of the speakers.

•    REGULARIZATION OF DEVELOPMENTS BILL, 2015: The Nairobi City County Assembly proposed a regularization bill that will introduce professionalism in the building industry in Nairobi. Association of Consulting Engineers of Kenya (ACEK) is a member of Regularization bill committee.

•    Participation in FIDIC Dubai international infrastructure conference and first FIDIC Africa Contract Users Conference held in Livingstone, Zambia, in October 2015.

•    ACEK launched a new revamped website in October.

•    ACEK facilitated and sponsored five Young Professional Steering Committee   Members to GAMA conference in Accra, Ghana in April.

•    The ACEK-Young Professionals Forum was launched in October.140 young people participated.

•    ACEK Young Professional Forum (YPF) Business Plan and Constitution is in place.

•    Linkages with other associations and Engineers,e.g.KEBS, APSEA, KEPSA, IEK, ERB, KFMB, ISK, IQSK, AAK among others.

•    Mentorship:-Career talks in secondary schools and universities by ACEK members.

•    Networking: – ACEK paid courtesy calls to Engineers in public service, that includes Dr.Eng.Karanja Kibicho, Eng.Peter Mangiti,Prof B.N.K. Njoroge of UON.

•    Capacity building through FIDIC training.In July, 57 Professionals trained in EPC/Turnkey, Design Build Operate and white book for consultants. This November, 60 Engineers and Practioners were trained in EPCT/Turnkey, Red book and Design

Build Operate projects courses.
•    Participation in NCA meetings.
•    Input in the Engineers Technologist and Technicians bill, 2015.

Ladies and gentlemen, as we look at the infrastructure landscape of our beautiful country we continue to see many opportunities for all Kenyans including consulting engineers. They say that change doesn’t roll on the wheels of inevitability, but on a planned well thought out process that is all inclusive. It is that process that needs to be continuously improved to ensure sustainable progress. We are aware of the many initiatives within government for the speedy implementation of infrastructure projects and fully support them. The vast opportunities mentioned above have presented what we call positive challenges that include: –
–    Need to develop and maintain capacity
–    Need to improve and put in place elaborate and well thought out management and governance structures in our firms.
–    Need to procure and maintain necessary systems to efficiently and effectively run our firms and projects
–    Need  for transparency and accountability in our conduct at all times
–    Need for customer orientated and result driven approach at all times
–    Need to resist temptation to engage in shortcuts and unethical practices.
–    Increased competition from foreign firms but it should be noted that this in itself presents another opportunity
It is comforting to know that the opportunities are both in the public and private sectors, meaning that the two sectors shall continue to bring benefit to the country with zeal.

In the public sector, we recognize the positive aspects in the Procurement and Disposal act and in particular the requirement for 40% local content on all international tenders. Whilst this requirement grants many opportunities for local and international firms to partner, we note that the benefits are yet to be maximized for the locals. We note that this requirement is still not adequately complied with in a number of Government institutions and would encourage that a mechanism be put in place to take stock of the level of compliance and positively recognize the Government institutions that are complying with this requirement.

This year, Kenya has positively been on the global map following the recent visits by US President Barrack Obama, the Pope and also the remarkable performance of our athletes and sportsmen in the international arena. However, this sharp and positive image that many other countries yearn for has been diluted by the recent news and debate on corruption.  Indeed the distinctiveness of the image has started being transformed to a shape of grey.  It is however positive to note that the vibrant debate on corruption has led to further awareness of the vice by Kenyans and also led to recent decisive action being taken by his excellency the president, other arms of the government and the private sector led by KEPSA. Indeed 2015 will go down in history as the year the fight against corruption started in earnest.

We fully support the action taken to fight this vice and further recognize that indeed it is not just the Government effort alone that is needed, but each and every one of us must make their unreserved contribution in tackling this crippling man-made disease. The mentioned waste of 30% of government expenditure can be reversed and that money put into use on the much needed infrastructure and services required by all Kenyans without adding too much burden on generations to come.

In many instances there is a tendency to point fingers at others, especially at those who may have failed to obey the 11th commandment “Thou shall not get caught”. We need not have the 11th commandment and if we are indeed a religious nation as we portray ourselves then we should have and only obey the 10 commandments for Christians.

At ACEK, we have a code of conduct that was developed in collaboration with the APSEA and we continue to encourage members to live by the code. Going further and in response to the presidents’ recommendation that only businesses that have signed a code of ethics will do business with the government, we encourage our members to not only sign the code but to live by it. We need to show our commitment as professionals and become role models to our youth.

During his recent visit to Kenya, President Obama aptly put it that we have borrowed this world from our children and grandchildren. We thus owe it to them to leave it either in the same if not a better state. So let us strive to live in the high plain of integrity and genuine concern for our neighbours and world.
For Christians, one of our greatest commandments is “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. In doing so, history will owe you a befitting Eulogy.

I once again wish to thank our chief guest, and all invited guests for honouring our association by their presence in this gala dinner. On behalf of ACEK, I would like to wish you all Merry Xmas and happy New Year. God bless you, God bless our country and our people.

Eng.James.N.Mwangi
Chairman
On Behalf of the Council of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Kenya.

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