Presidential advisor on Women Rights Harriette Chiggai delivering Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s Speech during the fifth international conference of Pan-African Society of Agricultural Engineers at the University of Nairobi.
Prime Cabinet Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi has urged engineers to take centre stage and steer the ship of Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Mudavadi said Africa’s agenda 2063 master plan identifies strategic incentives key to accelerating Africa’s economic growth and development as well as reclaiming and promoting common identity by celebrating its history and vibrant cultures.
This, he said, calls for the need to focus on repositioning Africa to be a dominant player in the global arena.
” For this reason, my plea is to pay attention to the priority areas of Agenda 2063 where engineers must play a critical role. These include well-educated citizens leading to a skills revolution underpinned by Science, Technology and Innovation,” said Mudavadi, in a speech delivered on his behalf by President William Ruto’s adviser on Women’s Rights Harriette Chiggai.
Mudavadi’s remarks were presented during the fifth international conference of Pan-African Society of Agricultural Engineers (PASAE) in collaboration with Kenya Society of Environmental, Biological and Agricultural Engineers (KeSEBAE) at the University of Nairobi.
The Prime Cabinet Secretary also said that engineers must play a critical role in modern agriculture for increased productivity, blue economy for accelerated economic growth, environmentally sustainable and climate resilient economies and communities as well as a world class Infrastructure criss-crossing Africa.
He said the conference comes at a time when the country is facing El Nino rains and the engineers may help in dealing with its ravages.
“We indeed appreciate your being here to celebrate this distinctively Pan-African international conference on African soil to discuss African solutions to African problems. In the normal course of things, we would be meeting in Europe or the Americas to ostensibly discuss Africa on foreign soil,” he noted.
Mudavadi said Africa not only desire engineers to lead innovations in technology made in and for Africa, but also help in the adaptation of soft-skills in the productive sectors of agriculture and manufacturing.
He said the genesis of Agenda 2063 was the realisation by African leaders under the newly minted African Union (AU), of the urgent need to refocus and re-prioritise Africa’s agenda from celebrating attainment of political independence and winning the struggle against apartheid.
” Agenda 2063 is therefore our blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse that it ought to be. It is the Continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on inclusive and sustainable development,” said the PCS.
Mudavadi also urged the engineers to consider the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which at implementation, will create the largest free trade area in the world.
The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion and has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty.
He said Kenya is committed because it is aware that the scope of AfCFTA is large and will result in self-reliance.
Among other things, AfCTA will reduce tariffs among member countries and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade.
” Kenya is at the forefront of lobbying for full implementation of AfCFTA because it will reshape markets and economies across the region and boost output in the services, manufacturing and natural resources sectors,” explained Mudavadi.
He, however, said achieving its promise to full potential will depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures and implementing AfCFTA require deep reforms necessary to enhance long-term growth in African countries.
Mudavadi said it is time to build the Africa that the continent desires with participation from an all-inclusive engineering fraternity.
“As PASAE and KeSEBAE, you must stay the course of recalibrating meaningful change, not as an option but as a necessity for survival. I therefore call on all engineers to support the democratic leadership on the continent so that we may reap the benefits of more responsive, efficient and effective engineering systems.”
On her part Chiggai urged the upcoming engineers to take advantage of the growing technologies globally and be more innovative and pro-active in helping find solutions to the current challenges facing the world in different spheres.
Agenda 2063 is Africa’s development blueprint to achieve inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development over a 50-year period.
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President William Ruto’s advisor on Women Rights Harriette Chiggai together with delegates following proceedings during the fifth international conference of Pan-African Society of Agricultural Engineers at the University of Nairobi. (Photo Andrew Kuria)