Tuesday 18 May 2021
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NASE engineers inaugural professions’week

In its zeal to support and promote the engineering profession and ensure fair access to all Namibians, The Namibian Society of Engineers (NASE) successfully held its inaugural Engineering Week. Secondary to the purpose of engagement, the profession seeks to create a platform for collective ideas and to unify efforts in mitigating current and potential challenges in the industry.
The indaba saw hundreds of students from all engineering disciplines converging at the Windhoek Showgrounds to share skills and discuss industry-related issues. It also created a platform for innovators to showcase their inventions and products.
Namibian engineering companies have over the years played second fiddle to their foreign counterparts, with government prioritising expats over its own. NASE president Charles Mukwaso told The Patriot that the Namibian Engineering Week was driven by the fact that NASE had discovered that Namibia needs to find innovative ways to boost economic growth and to encourage mass job creation.
“When you talk about economic growth of a nation, engineers are direct stakeholders in all those efforts in the sense that they are the engines of any economy. You look at the developed world where engineers are the people who bring about industrial revolution. For those nations to be called developed countries today was due to the emphasis placed on engineers who possess the skills to create products that can be sold across the borders so that the GDP of a country can improve,” he said.
Mukwaso underscored the importance of vibrant mentorship programs. “Namibia has many talented engineers who unfortunately do not have access to mentorship programs nor have access to motivational speakers. There is a need for mentorship programs that will allow more of these engineers to engage, we need access to such programs because we want young engineers to be self-starters by having the ability to reinvent themselves and the future of this country because it’s in their hands,” noted Mukwaso.
He added: “Twenty years from now the younger generation will blame us if we do not take the required steps to lay such a foundation for them. A few decades from now we would also like to see Namibia’s economy standing on stronger ground.”
On her part, NASE Secretary General Rachel Kakololo said engineers are still undervalued in Namibia, adding that the country has well trained engineers who can take on the job instead of expatriates.
“As NASE we are working together with the Engineering Council of Namibia to establish a platform where our engineers are placed accordingly,” said Kakololo.
Kakololo also touched on the Harambee Prosperity Plan and its call for infrastructure development, adding that “several infrastructural and development projects in the plan will require engineers in order to execute it efficiently.”
“We need engineers to come forward and we need locally skilled people that are trained to take up certain positions to industrialise as a nation. Instead of outsourcing engineering work and roping in expats, we must use the skills we have in-house. We hope our engineers can come forth and be consulting companies because we believe that they are capable of taking on some of this projects on our own as Namibians,” she stressed.
Civil Engineer, Mavis Elias noted that young engineers have started talking at the forefront about the importance of engineering when it comes to meeting the country’s infrastructure targets.
“The youth are willing to take on the vison of the country and carry it on their shoulders. They will no longer be the receivers, but the implementers. I have sat through the discussions over the past week and it has showed me that we have a lot of room to grow but it’s no longer a vison but it’s now becoming a possibility, its becoming something that can be done right now.
The fact that we have an engineering week where we can host such an impressive program over a five day period where you do not have anyone over the age of 35, it goes to show that the youth is no longer sitting around hopping for opportunities to arise but we are taking the ball and we are running with it. I truly believe especially with the vision of the NASE society we will have for front engineers across the globe” said Elias.

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