The 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) opened in Takoradi yesterday in the Western Region on the theme, ‘Resilient engineering for national development.’
The five-day event would tackle topics including city planning, housing, flood challenges, infrastructure development, water engineering, ethical engineering practices, sustainable mining practices.
The engineers would also discuss financing sustainable projects and women in engineering for sustainable development.
The President of GhIE, Prof. Rev Charles Anum Adams, said, for Ghana to achieve its development goals, the country should prioritise the role of engineers and engineering practice in our national discourse.
“There is nothing that affects the country, and particularly Ghana, that engineers do not have a role. But, in general, practitioners have been too quiet. We are shying away from talking, but, we must find our voices.
“Therefore, we must demand accountability from our politicians and hold them responsible for the infrastructure development in the country.We design, and, sometimes they’ll push us to do things that are not even in our budget. It’s about time the professional institutions stood up and say no!”
Prof. Adams said, as professionals, engineers should be bold and caution government about projects which were not in the interest of the people, while GhIE should continue to advocate the use of qualified technical and engineering consultants.
This, he said, would ensure efficient use of public funds and the delivery of quality in the needs of the people.
Prof. Adams said engineering was about applying science and mathematics, with technology to solve societal problems for people to have a better living in their cities, communities and in their homes.
“Our country cannot solve the energy problems, flooding even our educational problems people need to go to school, if engineers are not brought to their rightful place and facilitated to do their work,” The GhIE President added.
Prof. Adams suggested a collaborative approach in the training and regulation of all engineering practitioners and others in the value-chain – policymakers, stakeholders, communities, ministers, to realise the aspirations of the country.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, urged Ghanaians to see engineers not just in theories, but, fully build technology in Ghana for our energy transition.
“Our engineers must promote and build affordable concrete roads that will last 50 years and over. I want to see our engineers build agricultural machinery that will ensure cutlasses and hoes become museum pieces,” he said.
The Omanhen of Essikado, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, told the conference to study the logo of GhIE, the web work of the spider “Ananse,” learn the thoughts behind it, to become resilient engineers, who dreamt about the collectivity of Africa.