On behalf of the Federation of African Engineering Organizations (FAEO), I join the Organizers of this conference and the Institution of Engineers of Kenya in welcoming you all to the fifth version of UNESCO/WFEO/FAEO Africa Engineering Week and the 3rd Africa Engineering Conference. I congratulate the President of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya, Eng, Collins Juma, his Council and the Organizing Committee for organizing this very important event in the calendar of the Federation.
The first of the UNESCO/FAEO Engineering Week and Conference was held in South Africa in 2014, the second one in Zimbabwe in 2015 the third one In Nigeria in 2016 and the fourth one in Rwanda in 2017. This event is held to enable the African Engineers to meet together and share ideas and find solutions to the engineering challenges facing the continent.
FAEO was formed in 1972 as Federation of African Organizations of Engineers (FAOE). It was re-energized in 2012 as FAEO. The federation was formed with the objective of building a solid, united umbrella body for all African Engineers and to represent the engineering profession in Africa, internationally among other objectives.
I congratulate the organizers of the conference for choosing a very timely theme of the conference namely, “Harvesting Blue/Ocean Economy for Accelerated Economic Growth: The Role of The Engineer.” The theme is in tandem with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, which seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Africa has 37,723KM of coastline and, therefore, a vast access to the sea. By exploiting the resources available in the expansive ocean, Africa will be able, to a large extent, satisfy the Sustainable Development Goals Nos.1 (no poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure). Engineers will be required to play a major role in the exploitation of these vast resources in the oceans. In addition, it will be necessary for engineers to deliberate on how our oceans can be protected for maximum benefit to our people.
I note, with great satisfaction, that several papers will be presented in this conference with innovative ideas on how the engineers in Africa can harness these resources in the blue economy. I hope that through our interactions during this conference, the African Engineers who will be gathered in this wonderful coastal city of Mombasa will come out with practical ideas on how our Governments can utilize the services of our engineers for sustainable development of the blue economy.
I thank UNESCO and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) for the support that they have continued to give to this event. My very sincere thanks go to the Government of Kenya, The Institution of Engineers of Kenya and the Engineers Board of Kenya for agreeing to host this very important event. I also would like to thank all our other partners and sponsors. I wish you all a nice stay in Mombasa and an enjoyable conference. May God bless us all and may God bless Africa.
Eng. Julius Marimi Riungu, FIEK
President, Federation of African Engineering Organizations