President Chakwera dares engineers to facilitate development

By Andrew Magombo

Salima, Mana: The State President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has challenged engineers in the country to take centre stage towards attainment of developmental agendas through new innovations that can promptly place Malawi as a middle-income country.

He made the call on Friday at Sunbird Livingstonia Hotel in Salima where he officially opened this year’s Malawi Engineering Institution (MEI) engineering conference.

Chakwera said a new Malawi being envisioned by the Tonse administration needs engineers that will build the country with ingenuity and integrity as their role is pivotal to Malawi’s economic growth and socioeconomic development.

He therefore called for an end to a tradition of excuses by engineers whenever there is a delay in completion of various projects saying that is counterproductive against much needed progress in development.

“We do not need engineers who come up with endless pretexts every time. I understand there are other challenges like delayed payments, lack of resources and unfair competition but I ask you all to serve your country with integrity if we are to achieve our goals.

“We are sailing through hard times but we should not be so hard on ourselves for being a poor country for I believe when you are rock bottom, the only way is to go up, so let us accelerate development by being anxious to get things done timely,” said Chakwera.

He added that the MEI conference will be useless if it will not brainstorm relevant solutions to numerous problems that the country is facing in many sectors.

He therefore asked for continued replication of global trends in innovation citing the recently built 3D Printed Classroom in Salima which was completed in a record 28 hours instead of months.

“When you look at works of engineering in Malawi, there is hope that the country will achieve its envisioned developmental agendas. I therefore challenge you with two critical needs which are; having the will to act and having wisdom to accelerate achievement of our vision.

“I have seen hope which makes me believe that soon things will change in education, science and technology, infrastructural development as well as technological farming particularly through cooperatives,” he said.

In her remarks, Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works, Nancy Mdooko, said technology is constantly advancing hence the country cannot afford to live without expertise of engineers.

Said Mdooko: “As a country, we are aiming to achieve middle income class status by 2030 hence for us to achieve that we should boost road networks, energy for household use, and industrialization of farming.”

She added that economic infrastructure is one enabler of Malawi 2063 agenda thus engineers are greatly needed as such her ministry will provide all needed support to the Malawi Institute of Engineers.

Board Chairperson and President of MIE, Eng. Alfonso Chikuni, said one reason the country is lagging behind is because policy makers do not have a good understanding of engineering issues.

He therefore asked for inclusiveness as such gaps lead to weak linkages between engineering and development.

At the ceremony, there was also swearing in of Professsional Engineers who included Eng. Chikuni, Eng. Dr. Paul Kulemeka and four others.

Malawi Institute of Engineers (MIE) is a newly established institution which came into force in October, 2020 following ascension of the MIE Act (2020).

It is the sole regulator of civil, mechanical, electrical, irrigation, mining, chemical, information and computer technology engineering.