By Our Reporters

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has underscored the role of Ugandan engineers in the  transformation of the country from a predominantly peasant society to a modern prosperous state.

He noted that it has  been the role of engineers, technologists, technicians, artisans and craftsmen to plan, design, develop, operate and maintain the country’s  physical infrastructure, the technology and the systems that are required to achieve the aspirations of Vision 2040.

The Deputy Speaker noted that because of the  work of Ugandan engineers, Uganda has registered an increase  in paved roads network to over 5,000km, increase of electricity generation capacity from 600MW to 1,800MW,  safe water supply to 70% in rural and 74% in urban areas, increased of telephone subscriptions from 20.5 million in 2015 to 23.2 million in 2017 resulting in a tele density of 66.9 %the number of internet users from 6.2 million in 2015 to 9.8 million users in 2017 among others.

Tayebwa ‘s speech was delivered by the government Chief Whip , Hamson Obua when over 300 Ugandan engineers gather at Hotel African to celebrate the World Engineers Day , 2023.

Register more Ugandan engineers

The Deputy Speaker challenged the engineers leadership through the Engineers Registration Board Chaired by Dr. Isaac Mutenyo and Secretary Ronald Namugera to enroll more certified engineers. This ,after Tayebwa noted the  low registration rate of engineering professionals with only 1,642 registered engineers for a population of 45 million Ugandans.

He said this has led to informal sector and unprofessional practices; shoddy and poor quality of engineering goods, works and services.

He also called for the  alignment of engineering education and training to prevailing market needs; promotion of local content in the delivery of engineering goods, services and works and discard – outdated engineering standards.

He said parliament will work with the stakeholders in the engineering professional to enact a new law for the profession which is still operating under  outdated laws of the 60s.

“The Government will continue working with other stakeholders including the Engineer’s Registration Board and the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers to review the Engineers Registration Act, 1969 for legislative action to be undertaken. Other related bills and policies such the National Construction Industry Policy and Bill will be reviewed and updated,” Tayebwa stressed.

“ In line with the theme of this year’s World Engineering Day, 2023 of “Engineering Innovation for a more Resilient World”, government has lined up programs and projects for implementation under the National Development Program-NDP-3.

The programs include agro-industrialisation; Sustainable Development of Petroleum Resources; Climate Change, Natural Resources, Environment, and Water Management; Manufacturing; Integrated Transport Infrastructure and Services; Energy development; Digital Transformation; Sustainable Urbanisation and Housing; and Innovation, Technology Development and Transfer, among others,” he told the participants .

Gen Katumba Wamala , the Minister for Works and Transport  said that government through his ministry is preparing the Construction Industry Regulation and Development Bill to enforce standards and ensure the safety of Ugandans.

“ Under NDP III, there is focus on promotion of local content in the construction industry, access to affordable credit, access to construction equipment, construction industry skills development, promotion of large scale production of construction materials, among others. My Ministry is closely working with Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development on this issue of promotion of local content,” Gen .Katumba stated .

Engineer Dr. Mutenyo the Chairman of the Engineers Registration Board said that in order to increase the number of registered and certified engineers in Uganda they make the registration process as easy as possible but be very strict on continuous Professional Development (CPD) to ensure that high standards are maintained in the profession.

Dr. Mutenyo said that the probability of global shocks and disruptions has increased making it necessary to review national crisis management and resilience arrangements . “ This year’s theme challenges the engineering professionals to come up with sustainable interventions that can promote resilience among the populace.” he added.

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