It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the 5th African Engineering Week and the 3rd African Engineering Conference. As the President of The Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK), I am humbled to be co-hosting this special event for the very first time in Kenya. To all our guests from within the continent and beyond, Welcome to Kenya! Karibuni Kenya!
The Engineering fraternity in Kenya is extremely proud of the rapid infrastructural and industrial developments taking place in our country. Hosting this conference is an opportunity for the world to witness these developments. The Engineering profession plays a critical role in advancing economic growth and improving the quality of life of citizens of any country.
The theme of this year’s conference – Harvesting Blue Economy for Accelerated Economic Growth: The Role of The Engineer – could not have been more suited for Kenya. Kenya is an important player in the marine industry in Africa and the world and is happy to be part of the discussion towards developing a more advanced blue economy. I therefore most sincerely appreciate the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEA), Federation of African Engineering Organization (FAEO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for supporting this kind of platform and for choosing Kenya to host this important conference.
The IEK has been in existence for more than 70 years. The predecessor to IEK, the East African Association of Engineers (EAAE) was formed in 1945, while the IEK was registered as a professional body in 1972. The mission of IEK is to cooperate with national and international institutions to promote the engineering profession and best practices for the benefit of humanity. IEK boasts of a membership of more than 3000 engineers, some of whom are practicing outside Kenya.
As the president of IEK, I am working with a dedicated team of distinguished engineers in the Council. Our ideal from the onset has been to promote, encourage and improve the application of engineering to technical and other related practices. This is why I am particularly excited to participate in the ground breaking discussion under this conference’s theme of “Harvesting Blue Economy for Accelerated Economic Growth: The Role of The Engineer”.
Africa has for a long time been taunted as a sleeping giant in many areas. As engineers from Africa, this is our moment to show the world that we can lead Africa into a future of prosperity by harnessing the resources in our vast oceans. We must capture the aspirations of our continent and use our skills in engineering to design projects that will make the entire Africa proud.
This conference does not only offer an opportunity for engineers from our respective organizations to network but also provides the opportunity appreciate presentations by engineers from across the continent. It is my hope that we will all leave the conference with numerous lessons learnt for the benefit of our continent. Most importantly, it is my hope that this conference and engineering week will be a significant step towards actualizing the dreams that we have as engineers to tap the resources in our oceans for posterity.
As engineers, we are required to not only design sustainable engineering solutions in the marine environment, but to also ensure that the output from our engineering projects promote the integrity of marine ecosystems.
Eng. Collins Juma, FIEK
President, Institution of Engineers of Kenya