The 53rd Conference and Annual?General Meeting of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) opened in Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region last Tuesday, with a call on the government to give local engineering companies more opportunities to participate in projects.
The Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, who made the call, said if the government directed that all projects, notwithstanding the value and complexities, must be awarded to local engineers, it would go a long way to motivate them to do even better in their fields and enhance the engineering profession for the betterment of the nation
Nana Nketsia, who was the Special Guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the week-long event, also encouraged engineers to have consciousness of liberation, self-motivation, self-discipline and self-correction in their profession.
The theme for the conference is: “Resilient engineering for national development”.
Nana Nketsia said engineering had always been a key driver of national development and must, therefore, be given all the necessary attention.
He indicated that going into the future, resilient engineering would be more important than ever.
“As a country, we cannot say our current infrastructure is resilient. We have challenges with our roads, drainage, electricity and water supply.
Let us think of ways to surmount these problems and let us find practicable ways of implementing these solutions,” he added.
In his welcome address, the President of the GhIE, Rev. Prof. Charles Anum Adams, called on the government and the private sector to invest in the training and development of engineering practitioners and promote an enabling environment for them to practise their profession without interference from political actors or unqualified individuals.
That, he said, would help ensure that infrastructure development in the country became sustainable and resilient and met the needs of the people now and in the future.
He welcomed delegates from sister countries, especially Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Liberia, as well as other professional bodies in the country.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, who was the Special Guest, said the nation had great young entrepreneurs who needed support to develop their talents.
In that regard, he appealed to the GhIE to assist in investing in and promoting those young entrepreneurs gifted with great skills and subsequently create job opportunities for them.
He commended Rev. Prof. Adams and his able team for their commitment and contributions to the institution and also promoting and sustaining sound and competent engineering practices in the country.
He said engineering practice in the country met global standards and conformed to environmental and safety standards.
Fraternal messages were delivered by engineering associations in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Uganda and Liberia, as well as the President of the West African Engineering Organisation (WAFEO), Prof. Jonas Redwood-Sawyerr.
In attendance were council members of the GhIE, Women in Engineering (Wine), representatives from other professional bodies in Ghana and the incoming President of the GhIE, Kwabena Bempong.