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March 4, 2013

Economy hangs in balance without `pool` of engineers - IET president

Tanzania's economic growth will hang in balance if the government does not take stern measures to build the capacity for local engineers, the Institution of Engineers Tanzania (IET) has warned.
A cross-section of engineers who attended the engineers’ public meeting on re-engineering IET and role of engineers in the country also discussed the challenges of employment, education, abuse of engineering profession and natural resources.
Speaking at the event, the IET president Eng Dr Malima Bundara said the challenges facing the country’s engineering sector will only be solved with engagement of local engineers. 
“The engineering sector is facing many challenges but they will only be solved if local engineers are incorporated into the problem solving equation,” he said. 
“We should not deceive ourselves that foreign engineers will find lasting solutions to our problems. They come to make money and take it back with them. The only thing to do is to build the capacity of our local engineers,” he added.
Bundara cautioned the government against neglecting local engineers in trying to look for solutions to the current and looming development setbacks facing the country. On the other hand engineers should abstain from complaining without taking pro active direction in the improvement of the national economy.
“The backbone of every country’s economy is pegged on availability of a strong and well elaborate infrastructure.
 Infrastructural development and industrial growth lie in the hands of engineers. If the government and its institutions make good use of competent local engineers, a quick transformation on the country’s economic landscape will be felt,” Bundara said.
He mentioned that IET is embarking on building capacity for local engineers phase 2 so as to be enable them to give professional solutions to issues associated with their fields, which also have direct effects to the country’s economy.
Eng Ladislaus Salema, the former IET president, wondered why a country like Tanzania endowed with abundant minerals and natural resources in varying intensities, is still struggling to create jobs and is ranked among the developing countries.
He wanted the government to work closely with local engineers in unlocking unemployment challenges in the country.
Eng Shabbir Khataw IET member on the other hand warned his fellow engineers against laziness, saying that some of graduate engineers like to sit in offices instead of practicing to gain skills, a habit that he said would not give them room to improve on their expertise.  
Similarly, IET has expressed concern over this year’s massive form four failures and that these results will have a direct impact on the universities output in general within a few years to come. 
The engineers pointed out that the poor results will greatly affect the number of students going for higher education as the poor exams results will create a vacuum that will greatly affected growth in all sectors. It was also remarked that selfishness among Tanzanians was undermining collaborative initiatives.

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