The Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) is a professional organisation whose mission is to promote, encourage and improve the application of Engineering to technical and other related practices. It has been in existence since 1972 as a successor to the then East African Engineering Association that was founded in 1949. One of the goals of the Institution is to disseminate knowledge and skills by holding annual conferences where current and pertinent issues in all branches of engineering are discussed. The IEK is an active participant in the regulatory activities of the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) through its membership in the Board. It is also a member of the Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO) and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO).
THE 2018 CONFERENCE:
The WFEO has agreed with United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to hold the Africa Engineering week annually, preferably in the month of September which is internationally recognized as the World Engineering month. They have involved FAEO in the organization of the Engineering Week.
The first Africa Engineering week was held in South Africa in 2014. The second and the third were held in Zimbabwe in 2015 and in Nigeria in 2016 respectively. The fourth was held in Rwanda in 2017.
In 2015, FAEO decided to be holding the Africa Engineering conference alongside the Africa Engineering Week. The first conference was, therefore, held in Nigeria in 2016 and the second in Rwanda in 2017. During the Engineering Week, there is a series of activities that are held to sensitise the youth on the role of technology as a vehicle for rapid economic development of the country and Africa in general. This is of special interest to students enrolled in engineering courses in the Universities and in Technical Institutions and to High school Students.
This year, FAEO decided to hold the Africa Engineering Week and the Africa Engineering Conference in Kenya and IEK in collaboration with EBK agreed to host and organize. The other partners will be WFEO and UNESCO. The event will be held in Mombasa from 17th September to the 21st September 2018.
The theme of the conference is “Harvesting Blue/Ocean Economy for Accelerated Economic Growth: The Role of The Engineer”.
This is in line with the United Nations sustainable development goal No. 14 on ‘Life under water”. Africa is surrounded by a large mass of ocean from which the continent can benefit from harvesting the resources therein. The Engineers will be expected to play a very significant role in harnessing these vast resources.
The theme of the conference resonates well with the Vision 2030 of the Kenya Government as well as the five year Kenya Governments 4-pillar strategy for the Kenya economy. These pillars are Food Security, Universal Health care, Manufacturing and affordable Shelter’
Food Security: The pillar of food security is well addressed in the conference proposal. Kenya has a 600km coastline that can be used to enhance and diversify the food resources by tapping the immense potential of the Indian Ocean. There are also several inland water sources. We expect to learn and share the relevant technologies with other countries in Africa and even outside Africa. The technology of desalination is also closely linked to food resources as well as health matters. We are soliciting for experts in this area to join us in the conference.
Health: One of the sub-themes of the conference is in pollution. The topic extends to inland water resources of which many communities depend on. Solution to pollution-free surface and ground water is a key to the improvement of the quality of life which forms the essence of health systems.
Manufacturing: The Engineers are the main driving force in manufacturing. In the conference an invitation has been sent to experts and interested parties in the manufacturing sector. We aim at having presentations and sharing expertise in low cost marine vessel construction and value addition to marine products.
Affordable Shelter: If the country is able to exploit the vast resources in the blue economy, this will spur the economic growth, thus providing enough resources to provide the population with affordable shelter.
Infrastructure: The infrastructure is an enabler in achieving the 4-pillar strategy. In the context of the blue economy, the main issues are port construction, sea-shore communication, canal transportation, harbour-railway linkage, efficient cargo handling through computerization of activities.
CONFERENCE THEME AND SUB-THEMES:
The conference theme has been sub-divided into several sub-themes as listed below:-
i. Marine Fishery and Aquaculture
ii. Off-Shore Oil and Gas
iii. Marine Tourism
v. Marine Construction and Equipment
vi. Protection of Water Catchment Area
vii. Ports and Shipping
viii. Renewable Energy in the Blue Economy
ix. Marine Administration and Business Services
x. Pollution Control
xi. Inland Waterways
xii. Ocean Surveillance
xiii. Marine Engineering
The activities of the Africa Engineering week together with the conference will be held at the Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort in Mombasa. The resort provides a very spacious conference environment and has an astounding beach.