President Lazarus Chakwera has challenged local engineers to take centre-stage in the attainment of the country’s development agenda through new innovations that can make Malawi become a middle-income economy.
The President said this on Friday in Salima where he officially opened this year’s Malawi Engineering Institution (MEI) Annual Conference.
Chakwera said a new Malawi being envisioned in line with Malawi 2063 needs engineers that will build the country with ingenuity and integrity as their role is pivotal to economic growth.
He, therefore, called for an end to a culture of excuses by engineers whenever there is a delay in completion of various projects, saying that is counterproductive.
Chakwera said: “We do not need engineers who come up with endless pretexts every time. I understand there are other challenges like delayed payments, lack of resources and unfair competition.
“We are sailing through hard times, but we should not be so hard on ourselves for being a poor country for I believe when you are at the rock bottom, the only way is to go up.”
He said the conference was the right forum to come up with relevant solutions to numerous problems rocking the country.
Chakwera asked for continued replication of global trends in innovation, citing the recently built 3D printed classroom in Salima which was completed in a record 28 hours instead of months.
He said: “When you look at works of engineering in Malawi, there is hope that the country will achieve its envisioned developmental agenda.
“I have seen hope which makes me believe that soon things will change in education, science and technology, infrastructural development as well as technological farming.”
Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works Nancy Chaola Mdooko said technology is advancing and the country cannot afford to live without the expertise of engineers.
“We are aiming to achieve middle-income status by 2030 and for us to achieve that, we should boost road networks, energy for household use and industrialisation for farming,” she said.
MEI board chairperson and president Engineer Alfonso Chikuni said one of the reasons the country is lagging is because policymakers do not have a good understanding of engineering issues.
He called for inclusiveness, saying such gaps lead to weak linkages between engineering and development.
MEI came into force in October 2020 following the enactment of MIE Act 2020.