Works and Supply Minister Yamfwa Mukanga (middle), EIZ president Bernard Chiwala (left) and former University of Zambia (UNZA) Vice Chancellor Stephen Simukanga (right) at AVANI Victoria Falls Hotel y
Works and Supply Minister Yamfwa Mukanga (middle), EIZ president Bernard Chiwala (left) and former University of Zambia (UNZA) Vice Chancellor Stephen Simukanga (right) at AVANI Victoria Falls Hotel

Works and Supply Minister Yamfwa Mukanga says the current economic challenges the country is facing such as the shortage of mealie meal can be addressed through engineering solutions.

Earlier, Engineering Council of Zambia (EIZ) outgoing President Engineer Bernard Chiwala said over reliance on development aid and commodity export had negatively shaped and defined Zambia’s economic landscape during the past 51 years.

Mr. Mukanga said challenges involved in maize production, farming, construction of roads and hospitals could be resolved by engineers, if they took the driver’s seat and led the economy with their technological skills and knowledge.

“If you see a country that is not developed then the engineers are sleeping. As engineering professionals we must take the driver’s seat in leading the economy with our technological skills and knowledge as the country’s success and failure depends on us,” he said.

Mr. Mukanga said this in Livingstone yesterday at the Engineering Institute of Zambia 2016 Sypomsium under the theme : ‘Achieving sustainable industrialization,’ at Avani Victoria Falls Resort.

He noted that industrialization had been the most powerful driver of economic and social transformation.

“What we need as a country is industrialization that is compatible with a flourishing environment, that delivers decent jobs and reduces inequality,” he said.

Mr. Mukanga however, stressed that this kind of industrialization needed structural and technological transformation and he called for diversification into sectors characterized by higher productivity, increased technological intensity and greater value addition.

Earlier, Engineering Council of Zambia (EIZ) outgoing President Engineer Bernard Chiwala said over reliance on development aid and commodity export had negatively shaped and defined Zambia’s economic landscape during the past 51 years.

Mr. Chiwala observed that a development frame anchored on foreign aid and export of commodity products had not worked for Africa in general and Zambia in particular.

“Dependency on foreign aid and selling commodities with no value addition on world markets where prices are determined by buyers through their appointed middle men, has removed from our hands the capacity to shape and determine our collective destiny,” he said.

Mr. Chiwala said government could not afford to make the same choices that had been made in the past regarding resources the country is endowed with.

“There are many countries that are not naturally endowed such as Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea that have made remarkable economic progress. We need to benchmark some of the choices and development policies these countries made as we aspire to reach the developed status by 2064,” he said.

Mr. Chiwala however, said Zambia could reach the developed status by 2040 through the provision of world class education system; promotion of meritocracy in all the social and economic ladders; leading Africa and the world in science and mathematics and export led economy of finished products among others.

And the outgoing EIZ President urged President Edgar Lungu to consider the establishment of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science, Technology and Industrialization (PRECASTI).

“This council will comprise renowned and eminent engineers who will provide technical advice to the presidency on research and development matters, innovation and engineering solutions that will help Zambia to leap frog the technological gap it’s currently facing,” he said.

Works and Supply Minister Yamfwa Mukanga (right) and EIZ president Bernanent Chiwala (left) pose for a picture with honoured eminent engineers at AVANI Victoria Falls Hote
Works and Supply Minister Yamfwa Mukanga (right) and EIZ president Bernanent Chiwala (left) pose for a picture with honoured eminent engineers at AVANI Victoria Falls Hotel
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14 COMMENTS

    • it should be no surprise that we see such tendencies. its all as should be unless we decide to change this. you will find all these pathologies explained in carter g woodsons miseducation of the negro. now we can change all this if we want to. the power is within us. the ducation system we have right now perpetuates white hegemony. it is education for the whites and miseducation for the blacks. true education teaches the persuerer about self and environment in which he/she lives it should also teach him how to further improve is environment keeping in mind the intricate balance with nature also.
      what good is it to teach the zambian engineer nanotechnology based electronics when he hasnt yet been able to pass the hurdle of uninterruptible power supply.

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    • EIZ has also been hit by global pressures.

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  1. ..unfortunately EIZ is an institution of Technician and not Engineers…even those bridges and road we are seeing…buildings, the shopping malls etc are designed and constructed by the Chinese, South African Engineers….. our EIZ is only good at registering Chinese Engineers just for their affiliation and membership fees….the only time one hears of EIZ is when they are in tourist capital lavishly spending the very fees….like LAZ do…

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  2. Every year we hear the same boring rhetoric from EIZ events. It is really sad that an institution that should`ve been taking a leading role in showing the nation how a professional association is run, seem to have no clue. At such an event EIZ members (from various streams) should have exhibited great engineering talent in terms various research and development initiatives, number of patents granted to EIZ members in the course of the year, exhibition of various innovative products and inventions designed by Zambian engineers. Zambia has young engineers with potential, what these young engineers lack is leadership from EIZ and veterans.

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    • @3 I THINK YOU ARE ASKING FOR TOO MUCH FROM THESE EMPTY HEAD CALLED ENGINEERS. THEY ARE ONLY GOOD FOR SHOOTING DOWN GOOD IDEAS COMING UP FROM REAL ENGINEERS IN ORDER TO AVOID EMBARRASSMENTS AND CHALLENGES. DO YOU REMEMBER PROF CLIVE CHIRWA? HE HAD VERY GOOD IDEAS OF ELECTRIC TRAINS. THESE SAME ENGINEERS SAID IT WASN’T POSSIBLE FOR ZAMBIA TO TURN THE CURRENT TRAINS INTO ELECTRIC TRAINS BECAUSE ZESCO CANNOT MANAGE TO SUPPLY SUCH POWER. CHIRWA SAID HE WAS THINKING OF SOLAR BATTERIES. THEY STILL PULLED HIM DOWN SOME HOW. CHIRWA CALLS THEM MAINTENANCE ENGINEERS. CAN YOU IMAGINE EVEN WITH EIZ ZAMBIA CAN’T EVEN MAKE A PHONE.

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  3. Interesting to see some familiar time-served Engineers in the photo, including former ZCCM General Managers.
    But the fact of the matter is we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We need to focus on sustainable method of approach. One famous Engineer coined it CREATIVE CAPITALISM i.e. “If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world”.
    And as a matter of fact, that’s simply another way of saying ‘VALUE ADDITION’ before we export. This is a well flogged subject.

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    • Sorry mate, but your comment is mere rhetoric. Whenever the word “SUSTAINABLE” is used just know that you are limiting yourself. This is the donors buzz word. They have successfully limited your aspirations with that stupiid word. Stop parroting it.

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    • @Kavundula,
      LOL, what are you on about? Have you read the article and understood? And have you read my comment and understood? Are we responding to the same topic? Or are you blindly supporting EIZ’s idea of forming this co-called (PRECASTI) when it is already abundantly clear that we need technology that will create jobs thru processing/manufacturing using our raw material LOCALLY into finished products before exporting, i.e. adding Value? Example, making electric switches, sim cards, integrated circuits etc..from our copper, Grinding our maize into mealie-meal before exporting.
      Donors? What donors? Do you know that ‘adding value’ to a product has absolutely nothing to do with donors? Or are you simply way in over your head on this topic?
      LOL. Kavundula, how am I limiting myself?

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  4. You are all right with your comments but just looking the issues from the different angle. You are all spot on that the nation expects our engineers to do more. For instance we have heavy water bodies in the northern part of the nation why should we not use the water for more electricity. Canals can be created and water dammed to create pressure to turn the turbines. Why is it that our engineers have allowed the nation to be importing things like razor blades, funs, radios, TV sets, satellite dishes, Pressing irons, stoves, fridges, micro waves, fluorescent tubes, all those electrical and plumbing materials found in hardware shops etc. China and the rest of Asia, USA, Europe have developed due to engineering exploits in these nations not economics.

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  5. It would be good if government also applied itself to fighting corruption.There is so much of it in public institutions that it even appears normal.

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  6. These are the same Zambian “engineers” who said Prof. Chirwa was crazy when he talked about underground railway lines.The EIZ was very quiet about the whole saga.They do not know that Zambians were building these railway lines from long back.Take a trip underground on the copper mines on the C/belt.All the factories and land suitable for factories is owned by a particular type of Zambian-take a look around.About 99% of Zambian engineers are proud EMPLOYEES of foreign owned and run companies.The Japanese always ask and wonder why we Zambians do not own our factories.The politicians hate engineers who think like Prof.Chirwa. See how he was lured out of a good job overseas and ruined by the politicians.Where is he today?Basop! Think tanks are a big threat to African politicians,…

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  7. I am happy to hear that we are challenging our engineering to become more creative and stop giving what they have learnt from books. I look forward to seeing more practical approaches to solving our local engineering problems. Lets put in creativity and knowledge of local materials. PLEASE!

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