Saturday, September 18, 2010

ERB Celebrates the 8th Annual Engineers’ Day (AED)

In early September this year, Tanzania’s Engineers’ Registration Board (ERB) organized a colorful event that marked the 8th Anniversary of the engineers’ day in the country. The celebration which took place at Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam, was attended by over 800 engineers of various disciplines in the country. A two day occasion had to be attended by the Minister for Infrastructure Development in the country Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa as a guest of honour and due to his absence, his place was represented by his Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Omary Chambo. During the occasion, engineers normally receives learned discourse about their engineering activities from presenters and have the opportunity to visit various stalls that showcase their engineering works from various engineering firms or organizations.

Registration for engineers started at exactly 08:00 oclo’ck in the morning

ERB Registrar Engineer Steve Mlote delivering his opening speech to delegates in the hall

Tanzania’s engineering community marks 8th engineers’ day celebration

Among the most important roles being played by the Tanzania Engineer’s Registration Board (ERB) is to ensure excellent work performance by engineers in the country. This is in a bid to avoid complaints from the public against shoddy construction in a project undertaken. Ascertaining and certifying practicing engineers is among the vital roles played by the Engineers Registration Board in the country. The Board ensures that safety standards and quality performances are adhered to at any construction site in order to avoid any possible complaints that may arise from the general public resulting from shoddy construction jobs in various projects undertaken.

Norwegian Ambassador Mr Svein Baera talking to Tanzania’s engineers below. The government of Royal Republic of Norway has donated about USD 1.8 to ERB. The money would be used to facilitate 200 women engineers each year for five years under its SEAP program.

A cross section of over 800 engineers of various engineering disciplines who attended the occasion at Mlimani City in Dar es Salaam listening to the proceedings.

A woman passes along the advertisement placed outside the hall by the side of the main Sam-Nujoma road at a junction that leads to a conference venue.

ERB celebrates 8th Anniversary of engineering excellence in Tanzania

The Board is one of the most important and the oldest Boards in the history of the construction industry in Tanzania. It’s a statutory body founded in 1968 and later re-established under the Engineers’ Registration Act No. 115 of 1997. The Board has been given the responsibility of monitoring and regulating engineering activities and the conduct of the engineers and engineering consulting firms in Tanzania. Its main functions is to promote and maintain professional conduct and integrity of the engineering profession. Under the law, it is illegal for an engineer or an engineering firm to practice the profession if not registered with the Board. Other board’s function schedules includes among others sponsoring, arrange and provide the facilities for the conferences, seminars, workshops and consultations the board organizes on matters related to the field of engineering in the country. The Board has also been given legal powers and has the obligation to withdraw the right to practice from registered engineers if found guilt of professional misconduct or professional incompetence. Registration with the Board is thus a license to practice engineering in Tanzania.

The Deputy Chairman of the ERB Board, Engineer Margreth Munyagi who was introduced to many engineers who didn’t know of her background history. Engineer Margreth who is also the Director General of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) is said to be the first woman to become an engineer in the country.

Two women engineers carrying a woodcarving ready to be presented to Norwegian Ambassador Mr Svein Baera as a token of appreciation to what his government has donated to ERB.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure Engineer Omary Chambo presenting an antelope woodcarving to His Excellencies the Norwegian Ambassador accredited in the country Mr. during the occasion. On his left is the ERB registrar Engineer Steve Mlote.

“Kilimo Kwanza”, a challenge to Tanzania’s engineers.

This year’s theme has became a great challenge to engineers as the country has adopted the policy towards ensuring excellence on agro-activities throughout the country. Engineers have a greater role to play for its success.

Engineering is among the noble professions that have the privilege and responsibility of self regulation. The Board has worked out a Code of Ethics which aims at regulating the engineering activities and conduct of engineers and engineering consulting firms. The Code thus forms the basis and framework for responsible professional practice as it prescribes standards of conduct to be observed by engineers and engineering consulting firms. The Board also promotes innovativeness among local engineers as well as the use of affordable technologies and locally available materials.

After the early presentations, the guest of honour Engineer Omary Chambo was taken round various stands at the exhibitions to see for himself what engineering firms are doing in the country

Dr. Adelhelm Meru who is the Director General of the Economic Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) in the country was among the key speakers during the occasion. He is hereby seen walking around the corridor to see what engineers came with in their various stands.

ERB celebrates engineers’ day

The Board also adheres to the code of conduct which bare standards at the international level and accepts all standards which are acknowledged worldwide, says the Board’s Registrar, Engineer. Steven .D. Mlote. The Code is based on broad tenets of truth, honesty and trustworthiness, respect for human life and welfare, fairness, openness, competence and accountability; engineering excellence, protection of the environment and sustainable development.

This is a famous Shorprite shopping centre whose company a Botswana based owns the Miliman City Hall which is adjacent to a conference hall, the scenery is as can be seen when taken through the glass that separate the corridor with the main faced of the building

The Permanent Secretary Omary Chambo is being taken round by the Chairman of the ERB Board, Professor Ninatubu Lema, trailing behind them is Engineer Margreth Munyagi who is the Deputy ERB Board chairman. Engineer Munyagi is also the Director General of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority.

Towards refurbishing engineers in Tanzania

According to him, the board ensures construction works are performed excellently to avoid queries from the general public on a particular building project. However, he says that an engineer whose work is found to have flouted the board’s rules is removed out of the registration list and or sometimes may face trial for an extensive damage caused intentionally. Let it be clear to engineers that the engineering community in Tanzania is a working brigade for stimulating and spearheading socio-economic development in the country, and one aspect for ERB towards this development it has strengthened capacity building. To implement its mandate, the Board has the capacity to screen, generate and effect engineering applications as well as offer solutions to engineering-related problems. It is the engineers who conduct research on design, manage operations, maintain and repair structures, machines, plants and equipment.

Here an exhibitor at the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority stand explaining a point to the guest of honour when he approached the stand

Development without Engineers is nothing

The role of engineers within construction sector in any country is of critical importance to socio-economic development since without a sound infrastructure few industries, if any at all cannot operate efficiently. Engineers have to choose the right material, with high quality and balance them to get value for money. The building of the important infrastructures such as the airports, roads, harbours, sewerage facilities, communication facilities, water treatment plants, drilling boreholes, just to mention but a few entirely depends on engineering knowledge. These are examples of fast growing construction industry for Tanzanian economy. The above mentioned infrastructural facilities are given priority in every development set up. They cannot be taken for granted in the processing of building capacity for infrastructure development. The engineering sector among other things also aims at developing local skills, enhance employment opportunities and produce cadres in the industry who are capable of meeting international professional standards. The development of the construction industry in Tanzania has come up as a result of the economic liberalization which in one way or another has driven the country to enter into the international investment forum in order to acquire formal development within the sector.

The guest of honour Eng. Omary Chambo was taken round by his hosts to various stands

Tanzania still have fewer engineers

The major challenge is, however, in regard to construction of roads, particularly those in the rural areas since most of them are in a pathetic situation. The situation is a big challenge to civil engineers, the government and private sector to effectively increase their collaboration in addressing the constraints faced. There is a need for taking some decisive steps and measures to nurture and facilitate the growth and development of reputable local engineers and contractors with the requisite professional skill but lack of capital, the issue of financial capacity and technology is a drawback although these can be addressed via national budgetary allocations. In order to enhance the development goals of engineers in the country, the Engineers Registration Board (ERB) has put down a number of strategies for making sure that all illegal engineering works are banned. The strategies are meant for brushing engineers into getting more knowledge so as to keep them abreast with the changing technologies in this era of science and technology. The Board has put forward the Structured Engineers Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) as well as Continuing Professional Development (CDP) programs. These professional short courses raise the capacity buildings in order to cope with the situation so as to meet engineering development goals. To achieve engineering excellence, the ERB Board has put emphasis as its main strategy, to implement both training courses for the betterment of the engineering community in the country. SEAP and CPD, the two are intensive training programs for practicing engineers in the country. The board hitherto considers these programmes as mandatory to all practicing engineers in the country.

The ERB Board Chairman, Professor Ninatubu Lema is being interviewed by the local television. Professor Lema said Tanzania is still having fewer engineers to accommodate most important sectors in the country.

On her turn, ERB Assistant Board Chairman Engineer Margaret Munyagi was also interviewed. On her part she has urged fellow women to actively take part in engineering works in the country

Shun away shoddy construction: Tanzania’s engineers told

Statistics by the Board shows that, over 2,000 engineers of various disciplines in the country have benefited from SEAP program which started almost a decade ago. The program is currently financed by the government, and effect from this year, the Royal Norwegian government has donated USD 1.8 million (About 2 billions Tshs.) to help facilitate the Board’s programe for women engineers working for various disciplines in the country for the next five years. It’s envisaged that the program fits them for their work wherever appropriate, and have also gained enough experience. According to the Board’s Registrar, Engineer Steven Mlote, apart from SEAP, CPD program helps engineers to cope with the development technologies in order to gain hands on skills as everything is done by use of computers. Under this program, an engineer is liable to complete a minimum of 30 professional development units in a year. These are secured after attending workshops and lectures organized by the Board, then later on exams follows. In total an engineer is required to complete 90 units for three years in order to be assessed. For the last seven years ERB Board has carried its work in all Tanzania’s mainland town councils and helped increased the ability of engineers through this training. However, it’s evident that engineering situation in these councils is now better than before, and the Board anticipates good performance in future. Other activities the Board contends with includes, site inspection in all bigger construction projects including mining activities taking place in all mining sites in the country, the Board also scrutinizes engineers who works in other private institutions such as in factories and in manufacturing industries. The essence of doing this is to ensure that foreign engineers who are employed to carry out these activities in these project sites have enough experience and skills and furthermore to see if they have been registered by the Board prior to the practice of engineering work in the country as the Board’s rules stipulates.
The main challenges facing the engineering profession in the country is that many engineers shun this profession and joins other professional fields for reasons that it is not paying well, bearing in mind that engineering studies are very tough to understand. Many Tanzanian students do not want to undergo engineering studies on the claims that the content subjects are very tough and if successfully completed their benefits are too little compared to other professional jobs. In order to run with all these functions smoothly, the board resolved to dedicate special days each year where engineers in the country could show the general public employers of engineers and other stakeholders in the engineering sector what Tanzanian engineers can do towards national development.

On the second day of the occasion, the Chief Secretary Mr. Philemon Luhanjo graced the occasion. The CS was lined up to give an award of certificates to participating engineering firms at the exhibition

The Chief Secretary who is also the head of civil servants in the country, Mr. Philemon Luhanjo issues a certificate to a winning member. About 33 firms participated

More engineering works is still needed in Tanzania

The occasion is also intended to enable employers in the engineering industry and the stakeholders an opportunity to identify capabilities of local engineers and local engineering organizations/firms. An Annual Engineers’ Day (AED) in Tanzania and the activities that go alongside with it, is a great significance not only to the engineers but also to the wider Tanzanian community. The occasion provides an opportunity for engineers to meet and exchange ideas and experiences on matters necessary for national development. The occasion which is one of the board’s greatest achievements, entered its eighth year in September this year since its inception in early 2003, it recognizes the contributions of the engineering profession towards national development. AED is now a very popular event in the almanac of engineers in the country, and it is also a popular public event which together with other activities it includes presentations of Engineering Excellence Awards and Engineering Promotion Award. It is also a rare opportunity for stakeholders in the engineering sector and the general public to interact with engineers on issues of national development. The event also enables the general public to recognize the valuable contributions made by the Tanzanian engineers in socio-economic development aspects.In this way capabilities of local engineers are identified and employed effectively for the benefit of the country. In realizing the aspirations of vision 2025, to a large extent depending on the professional roles to be played by engineers as there is no development program in the vision that does not require engineering inputs.It is for this reason that the theme for this year’s occasion focused on the “Contribution of Engineering and Technology towards the success of Kilimo Kwanza” in the country. Tanzanian nation needs engineers in the development and maintenance of various infrastructural facilities such as roads, railways and communications infrastructure. Apart from these, engineers also plays a crucial role in mining, service centres, for health and education sectors and in agro-industries as their contributions have a positive impacts that enables the nation to prosper towards the success of Kilimo Kwanza. Engineers also make use of the event to chat out strategies that will enable them to excel previous achievements. The holding of this important day which is now an annual occasion greatly facilitates an exchange of ideas and experiences which if properly applied will accelerate the pace of national development. Tanzanian government has put in place the country’s development vision 2025 and has also in place a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) both of which clearly stipulate the role of engineers in their endeavor to achieve the desired development and reduction of poverty.

The Chief Secretary is being given four laptop computers to be presented to the best four winning students who pursued engineering courses in some higher learning institutions in the country. The students who did not attend the occasion excelled in their final exams. The laptop computers were later given to the Chairman of the ERB Board Professor Lema on their behalf.

The Chief Secretary Mr. Philemon Luhanjo read his statement to engineers below whom he urged to work hard to overcome the challenges of the “Kilimo Kwanza” and wanted them to bring their outcome reports next year.

A cross section of various engineers who attended the meeting.