Rwandan engineers yesterday took oath committing to adhere to the law and rules of ethics governing the profession of engineering.
The first oath in Rwanda’s engineering sector was administered by the Chairperson of the Council of the Institution of Engineers Rwanda (IER), Eng. Papias Kazawadi.
Since the institution’s inception four years ago, it has registered about 850 engineers, of whom some 424 who fulfill the compliance requirement of the institution, took oath.
The oath was taken on the last day of Africa Engineering Conference, and the 4th United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Africa Engineering Week, 2017 held under the theme, “Effective Waste Management in Africa,” which has been running for the last four days in Kigali.
Speaking after taking oath of ethics, Eng. Aimable Rutagarama, who spoke on behalf of the others, said taking oath is a means of self-regulation of their profession.
He said this would promote professional ethics, integrity and accountability for the benefit of the public, and Rwandan society that expects a lot from engineers.
“Specifically in Rwanda, a country with grit and vision of using limited resources to achieve more inclusive socio-economic development, we, engineers are required to act in a particular way,” he said.
In regards to the need to work with responsibility, Rutagarama said that engineers are responsible for projects that form a significant part of the national economy.
‘Engineers don’t make mistakes’
For this reason, he noted, engineers who design and implement those projects, need to be innovative, and ensure cost-effectiveness throughout all the project stages.
“Engineers don’t make mistakes; there is no room for that. Mistakes resulting sometimes from negligence, or irresponsible engineering actions and/or decisions, unprofessional ethics, immoral, or simply corruption; should be penalised in accordance with the rules and regulations of the institution of engineers to which we have committed today by taking this oath,” Rutagarama said.
John Karamage, the registrar of the Institute of Engineers Rwanda, said the oath was adopted by the engineers themselves through internal rules and regulations as an additional requirement for best practices.
“This oath elevates the level of assurance on quality and confidence we give to public, on protecting their health and safety in regards to engineering architects,” he said.
“It is our commitment to contribute toward sustainable development of the country and the continent. There is no sustainable development without sustainable infrastructure, and no sustainable infrastructure when there is no sustainable engineering,” Karamage said, warning employers, b0th in public and private sectors, who still use unregistered engineers, that it is unacceptable.
While officiating at the closure of the conference, the Minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni, said the oath is a very serious commitment to the profession.
“It’s a step forward in creating confidence within society and the community of engineers, certainly, has gained more strength,” Musoni said.
He called for more commitment, professionalism in the engineering profession given the nature of the work they do, which can have huge impact on the public.
“Look at the building we are in, supposing there were defects here and there and it collapses on us... look at bridges, planes... the responsibility you have to the lives, to development is so huge that you can’t afford to have this profession handled in a substandard way,” he said.