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Highlights of interesting activities at the Fidic-Gama 2019 conference in Kampala Uganda.
The 26th FIDIC-GAMA Infrastructure Conference in Kampala Uganda was littered with lots of interesting activities. The 3 days (12th – 14th May 2019) International conference organized by the Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers (UACE) and sponsored by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) was held at the Kampala Serena hotel. The event had amazing speakers who presented papers centred around the programme’s theme: “The role of Consulting Engineers in driving growth in African economies”.
Kick starting the programme on the 11th of May 2019 was the Young Professionals (YPs) pre-conference leadership and development workshop at the Golden Tulip Canaan hotel Kampala. The Young Professionals (YPs) of FIDIC GAMA gathered together and via team participatory sessions came up with lots of interesting ideas to solving key industry issues. CLICK HERE to read about some of these interesting ideas.
DAY 1 (12th May 2019) ACTIVITIES
The next day being Day 1 proper of the conference; the YPs again gathered, this time at the Serena Hotel for the Young Professionals Symposium where the following topics were discussed:
- Young professionals in Africa; what is their status quo?
- Contextualizing the challenges to the growth of YPs in the consulting sector in Africa
- The role of YPs in driving the economies of Africa through engineering
- Future perspectives: The Future of work in Engineering
At the end of the symposium, the YPs all worked together to create resolutions and strategies on the way forward.
Then came the evening of Day 1; participants gathered at designated locations (Serena hotel, Sheraton hotel and the Imperial Royale) where buses were made available to transport them to Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo, which was the venue for the Welcome Cocktail. As the buses journeyed through the busy Kampala roads, Non-Ugandans were opportune to have a glance and feel of some of the daily activities of the city’s residents.
Traders by the roadside and Boda Boda on the streets.
Arriving at the Speke resort, the welcoming view was indeed beautiful as the resort lies on the northern shores of Lake Victoria.
Pool side at Speke Resort and Nothern shore of Lake Victoria
There were lots of bites and drinks for participants as they networked and got to know each other. Amidst the networking, participants were welcomed by the organizing committee chairman and UACE chairperson (Eng. Batumbya and Eng. Betty Nakamya) and also by the event sponsors, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
Drinks at the Welcome cocktail party and Engineers enjoying bites while networking
Engineers Networking and Participants welcomed by UACE chairperson (Eng. Betty Nakamya)
There was also an exciting performance by the Qwela live band who entertained the participants; and at the end of the night the participants all boarded the buses and were taken back to their various hotels.
DAY 2 (13th May 2019) ACTIVITIES
The Watoto children’s choir about to go on stage and The Watoto Children’s choir performing on stage
Day 2 of the conference began with a performance by the Watoto children’s choir who did well to entertain the participants. There were then welcome addresses from the chairperson of UACE (Eng. Betty Nakamya), Chairman of FIDIC-GAMA (Eng. James Mwangi) and CEO of FIDIC (Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin OBE).
Eng. Betty Nakamya (Chairperson of UACE) and her Vice. (Dr. Ronald Musenze); Eng. James Mwangi (Chairman of FIDIC-GAMA)
Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin OBE (CEO of FIDIC)
Dr. Ogunshakin in his speech stated the duties of FIDIC which includes:
- Representing globally the consulting engineering industry
- Maintaining FIDIC forms of contract as best practices
- Enhancing the image of consulting engineers
He further suggested it was high time for a name change; from FIDIC-GAMA to FIDIC-AFRICA, he concluded with the question; “why FIDIC-GAMA, why not FIDIC-AFRICA?”.
After his speech the Watoto children’s choir were on stage again to render the Uganda National anthem. There were more addresses from the Minister of Works and Transport Uganda (Hon. Monica Azuba Ntege), and finally Vice President of Uganda (Mr. Edward Ssekandi), who represented the President of Uganda.
Hon. Monica Azuba Ntege (Uganda Minister of Works & Transport) and Mr. Edward Ssekandi (Vice President of Uganda)
A major highlight of Day 2 of the conference was the speech from the anchor speaker Prof. PLO Lumumba, who talked about the need for the consulting engineers in Africa to rise up to the occasion of handling and being involved in major infrastructural projects in the continent. “There must be a link between consulting Engineers and the industry to ensure that we move in a positive direction where the ‘Agenda 2063’ is realized”. He advised that for sustainable development in Africa, expertise from other parts of the world can be used but certain things are to be reserved solely for the African professionals.
See a clip of his speech below;
After lunch, there were paper presentations anchoring on:
- Regional infrastructure projects as a catalyst for economic development and
- Smart and resilient infrastructure for sustainable development
You can find copies of these presentations at https://fidicgama2019.com/index.php/presentations/
Access code for presentation papers is ENGFIDIC2019PAPERS
The evening of Day 2 was scheduled as the Gala Dinner which was held at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. Participants arrived looking smart and dashing in their dinner attires. While addressing the participants at the dinner Dr. Nelson Ogunshakin announced the birth of FIDIC-AFRICA. There was an unveiling of the strategic plan for FIDIC-AFRICA which included:
- Objectives, Visions, Missions and Goals
- SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
- Strategy 2025 Growth and Business Development:
- Communication and Conferences
- Capacity Building
- Integrity, Ethics & Professional Practice
- Targets for 2023
Jeshika Ramcund was acknowledged for her role in developing the FIDIC-AFRICA strategic plan.
Watch video of strategic plan for FIDIC-AFRICA below.
The FIDIC-GAMA Excos were also invited to the podium to each state his or her vision for FIDIC-Africa, and they all seemed to have great visions for the institution. The night ended in a dancing galore as the Afrigo Band lightened up the hall with their amazing performance.
Participants at the Gala Dinner in Sheraton Kampala Hotel and Afrigo Band entertaining participants at the Gala Dinner
DAY 3 (14th May 2019) ACTIVITIES
Day 3 which was the last day of the conference was awesome. After the usual lectures from the wonderful speakers, on topics centred around:
- Sharing best practices to enhance sustainability in engineering design and implementation
- Professional ethics, social responsibility and gender considerations in modern infrastructure project execution
- Emerging approaches to infrastructure development – public private partnership arrangements
Find copies of these lectures at https://fidicgama2019.com/index.php/presentations/
Select Day 2, password for the lecture papers is ENGFIDIC2019PAPERS
The Day 3 evening was indeed colourful been designated as the cultural night. Participants dressed in their various traditional attires and all journeyed to the famous Ndere cultural centre in Uganda.
On arrival participants were thrilled with a grand entry performance from the Ndere cultural troop. But that was only but the tip of the iceberg as there was more to come.
Stephen Rwangyezi who founded the Ndere troupe in 1986 welcomed the participants while humorously stating that Engineers need to learn how to relax. He said it was his duty to make sure that before the end of the night everyone will be relaxed. The cultural troupe showcased the various cultures and dance moves of the Ugandans while telling stories with their performance.
After their performances there were closing remarks from the chairperson of UACE (Eng. Betty Nakamya) and other dignitaries; awards were also given to some deserving engineers. And finally there was an official handing over of the baton of responsibility for the hosting of the 2020 conference to Botswana.
Fidic-Gama Excos closing remarks and UACE Council Members closing remarks
Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala (State Minister of Works Uganda) hands over the baton of responsibility to Botswana Honorary Consul to Uganda (Ms. Maria Odido Di Fonzo) as host of FIDIC-AFRICA 2020 Conference
At the end of the ceremony, as intended by Stephen Rwangyezi, engineers were indeed relaxed as some took to the dance floor and displayed their dancing skills.
Everyone went home with high hopes for what is to come in Gaborone, Botswana 2020. Well, let’s wait and see what Botswana has planned for us.