Papias Kazawadi Dedeki, a Rwandan civil engineer and a member of the Rwandan Institution of Engineers, has been appointed president of the Federation of African Engineering Organization (FAEO). The FAEO is an international non-governmental organisation which represents engineering professions in Africa internationally. Kazawadi was appointed the organisation's president on Friday, January 27, during the 2023 FAEO Engineering Policy Conference in Kigali hosted by the Rwandan Institution of Engineers in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure. Themed Unleashing the opportunities in AfCFTA (continental free trade area) implementation, the one-day event attracted about 200 delegates from across the continent. Presidents of national, regional and continental engineering bodies, leading experts in various engineering fields, policy makers, the private sector and the academia discussed the engineering opportunities in the AfCFTA and Africa in general. The Minister of State for Infrastructure, Patricie Uwase, said the conference is vital and has come at the right time when leaders from governments and private sector players particularly on the African continent need to come together and seize engineering opportunities in the AfCFTA, assess the constraints involved and plan for future engagements as well as profitable connections. She added: Engineering plays a key role in development of every economy; ranging from; technological capabilities, industrial activities, economic growth and human capital. What we refer to by engineering in this context is the process of digesting and combining knowledge, resources and arts to boost innovation in Africa. Uwase told reporters that the fact that a Rwandan will be leading FAEO shows that the Rwandan Institution of Engineers is getting stronger, day by day. Kazawadi's tenure at the helm of FAEO will last for two years, starting this month. In an interview, he expressed his delight for the new responsibilities but also reflected on how daunting the tasks that await him are. It is of great valuable to be entrusted with such responsibilities. I am really happy for it, but at the same time aware that it requires a lot of effort. I am hoping that my colleagues will work together with me to fulfil these responsibilities, he said. According to him, one of the things that he wants to focus on during his work as the president is making sure that the engineering profession will play a role in the implementation of the AfCFTA, and the development of African countries in general. Carlien Bou-Chedid, the outgoing FAEO president, told the media that during her tenure, FAEO made efforts to be a more competent body that was able to deliver on its objectives. Now we are in the process of trying to expand FAEO's reach, and now we are also encouraging engineering firms and institutions to join, she noted. According to Steven Sabiti, the Executive Secretary of the Rwandan Institution of Engineers, the 2023 FAEO conference is a platform for engineering professionals from across the continent to discuss strategies and draw resolutions aimed at defining and concretising their role in building momentum towards ‘the Africa We Want’ which is envisaged in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agenda. He referred to it as an opportune moment for Rwandan engineers to network with their peers across the continent and establish necessary synergies to help them expand their horizons.