As the chairperson of the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK), it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 5th African Engineering Week and the 3rd African Engineering Conference. On behalf of EBK, I wish to register my utmost honour in co-hosting this special conference.
I am happy that we can meet as the people of this continent and as professionals from various sectors to discuss how we can sustainably use the resources at our disposal to achieve economic growth and to improve the livelihoods of our people.
I am privileged to be part of the discussion on the state of the resources in our oceans. Africa is blessed to be surrounded by a number of oceans and seas. In particular, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the east and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. To sustainably harness these resources for the benefit of our people, the knowledge, skills and expertise of engineers is required.
I take this opportunity thank the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), the Federation of African Engineering Organizations (FAEO) and UNESCO who have supported this conference to be hosted in Kenya at this time. The theme of the conference, which is – Harvesting Blue/Ocean Economy for Accelerated Economic Growth: The Role of The Engineer, is closely related to the main pillars of the economic blueprint of our country, which are the Big 4 Agenda and the Vision 2030.
For instance, we are currently implementing Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) project which aims at building infrastructure to link the new port of Lamu in Kenya to Juba in South Sudan and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The successful completion of this project is going to create new opportunities through which we can harness the ocean resources for the benefit of the countries involved in the project.
It is therefore important that our engineers are adequately prepared though training and through the necessary regulation to anticipate the opportunities that are going to emerge from the latest global interest in the blue economy. It is my hope that our engineers will gain lessons from variety of papers that will be presented in this conference.
In appreciation of the important role that engineers continue to play in promoting economic growth and aiding the development of our country, the Engineers Board of Kenya was established as a legal institution through the Engineers Act 2011 to regulate engineering practice in Kenya. Apart from regulation, the board is mandated to champion the development of the engineering profession by promoting capacity building and training of engineers, registration and regulation of their conduct for improved performance of the profession.
Today we are proud to have more than 10,000 well trained, talented and experienced engineers in Kenya who are registered with the board. It is therefore my pleasure that we have this conference for our engineers to come and share with the world the output of their work and similarly, to network, learn new technologies and trends from engineers from across Africa and the world.
Currently, we are proud to be working closely with other government agencies to meet the objectives of Vision 2030 and the Big 4 Agenda economic blueprints. The focus areas of the Big 4 Agenda include manufacturing, food security, universal healthcare and affordable housing for all. The areas of fisheries development, manufacturing, offshore energy potential, marine transport and mining are indeed integral parts of the Big 4 agenda.
At the Board, we understand that the success of the economic blueprint will depend on the effectiveness of the engineering profession and a conducive enabling environment where our engineers can freely practice their profession. We therefore have a comprehensive strategic plan that guides our work and helps ensures that engineering services are efficiently and effectively rendered.
Ladies & Gentlemen, this conference provides a good platform for engineers to network with other engineers and other key sector players and learn from the best practices across the continent and beyond. It indeed provides a good opportunity for us to discuss common standards that can be adopted to ensure mutual working relationships between engineers from different parts of the continent.
In conclusion, the Engineers Board of Kenya will promote an enabling environment and continue collaborating with all stakeholders towards creating capacity in all engineering fields for effective delivery of professional services in this space. The Board similarly challenges engineers to provide services in an ethical and professional manner, adhering to our Code of Ethics.
“The oceans are not exclusive domains of engineers, we, as engineers must also think of how we are going to interact with other sector players in the oceans ecosystem, only then will we have sustainable innovations that protect our ecosystem”
Welcome to Kenya.
Eng. D M. Wanjau, PE
Chairman of Engineers Board of Kenya