ICT has been proven to be an essential base without which a country’s economy cannot function. Already in most developing countries it is a significant part of the economy. Many of those countries are specializing in the new economy, supporting the global demand for ICT while others are innovating to meet their own domestic demand.  In the May-June Issue of the Kenya Engineer Magazine, we will explore the role played by the young ICT industry in Kenya’s Economy.

 

  

Kenya Engineer magazine which is the definitive publication of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) would like to invite Engineers, stakeholders and interested individuals to contribute to the next issue of Kenya Engineer magazine by writing and submitting articles.  We invite technical articles on ICT and related issues. 

 

Kenya Engineer is published once every two months (bi-monthly). The Journal carries a variety of engineering oriented articles; news, Features, leading projects, interesting profiles of leading engineers and contractors, referred professional papers, meetings as well as news on engineering and construction equipment gathered from across the East Africa region.

 

Kenya Engineer also invites contributions to the debate on the role of government in fostering economic growth in the construction sector. This vital issue has been raised through the Infrastructure Chairman for Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Eng. Matu. KEPSA has been in the forefront in advocating for issues of concern to the private sector and matters affecting their businesses. 

 

KEPSA has engaged the chairs and vice chairs of Parliamentary committees including the Cabinet during the presidential Round Table on the 14 of February 2014, the Principal Secretaries also attended. Eng. J. Matu will submit an article on capacity building for infrastructure projects during the next issue of the Engineers Journal. Other people who feel strongly about this can also submit their papers for publishing.

 

Currently, the Kenyan government sets aside or ring fences Kenyan firms for its projects valued at less than one billion shillings. Is it helpful for the government to enact such policies? Are the current procurement laws sufficient to promote capacity building for local firms? What about non-governmental contracts such as those from donors and development partners? Does it behoove the government to direct international stakeholders to set aside contracts for Kenyan firms or give a guarantee to the public that joint ventures between Kenyan and foreign firms will implement the construction jobs? How will such legislation if enforced contribute to capacity building in engineering, and is it possible to implement such policies while also struggling with transparency and corruption?

 

Some pundits argue that Kenyan firms will miss out on opportunities to build capacity as foreign firms construct projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway and the Greenfield terminals at Jomo Kenytatta International Airport. Economists warn that nations lose out when construction profits get sent abroad. 

 

The long term implications to the country are staggering if young engineers, other professionals and skilled laborers do not get opportunities during which they can develop their capacities. These debates relate to the vital issues of national policies and capacity building, not only with regard to engineering and construction, but also, with respect to closely related sectors as banking.

 

Furthermore, this debate has international implications as development experts and politicians all over the world struggle to fight poverty by nurturing economic growth and increasing the number of middle income countries.  What are the global lessons which apply to how governments should nurture growth sectors in their economies? To what extent, if any, do setting aside infrastructural contracts for local companies help in driving economic growth? Do economies, such as those of the Asian tigers, which have recently blossomed, have lessons for Kenya?

 

To be heard send your opinion to Managingeditor@kenyaengineer.co.ke or newsdesk@kenyaengineer.co.ke  Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to select, edit and publish in line with our editorial policy, quality and integrity.

 

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