Under the vibrant banner of "Engineering Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want," over 100 delegates from across the continent converged at the University of Nairobi this week for the 5th KeSEBAE-PASAE International Conference. This annual gathering, hosted by the Kenya Society of Environmental, Biological and Agricultural Engineers (KeSEBAE) in collaboration with the Pan African Society for Agricultural Engineering (PASAE), served as a vibrant platform for engineers, researchers, and industry leaders to share ideas and chart a course for a more sustainable and prosperous Africa.
The conference's overarching theme, "Engineering Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want," reflects a commitment to align with the African Union's Agenda 2063, emphasizing the pivotal role of engineering in shaping the continent's future. Eng. Prof. Lawrence Gumbe, Chairman of KeSEBAE, stated during the welcome note, "The noble profession of engineering is responsible for the creation, improvement, and protection of the environment, providing facilities for living, industry, and transportation." Prof. Michael Faborode, President of PASAE, echoed this sentiment, stressing how the conference aligns with the organization's report on agricultural engineering in Africa. He emphasized the need to leverage engineering expertise for "transforming agriculture to deliver food and water security, sustainable agricultural production, and thus to support economic prosperity."
Hon. Harriette Chiggai, representing the Prime Cabinet Secretary and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, delivered a powerful keynote address. She emphasized the need for strategic partnerships, innovation, and a commitment to taking responsibility for Africa's development. She urged engineers to be "bold and courageous" in tackling the challenges outlined in Agenda 2063, emphasizing the need for "a skills revolution underpinned by Science, Technology and Innovation." Hon. Chiggai urged engineers to lead a skills revolution through Science, Technology, and Innovation, scale up modern agriculture methods, expand Blue Economy projects, ensure environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient economies, build world-class infrastructure across Africa, and take responsibility for financing the continent's development.
Mr. Brian Ouma, Chief Operations Officer, emphasized the University’s role in driving Kenya and Africa's development agenda through training world-class researchers and collaborations with global institutions. He praised the Faculty of Engineering for fostering knowledge exchange between academia, industry, and practitioners, recognizing the transformative power of shared knowledge.
Eng. Prof. Ayub N. Gitau, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, expressed pride in hosting the conference for 3 consecutive years. Stating, "The Faculty of Engineering is the premier engineering institution in Kenya and the region and is known for excellence in Engineering."
The conference delved into various crucial sub-themes: Energy for Africa, Housing, Engineering Education and Practice, Industrialized Agriculture, Sustainable Environment and Climate Change, and the Blue Economy. Through technical paper presentations, keynote speeches, and engaging panel discussions, participants explored innovative solutions and strategies for tackling Africa's pressing challenges.
The 5th KeSEBAE-PASAE International Conference served as a testament to the power of collaboration and knowledge sharing. By bringing together diverse minds from across the continent, the conference fostered a spirit of innovation and ignited a collective passion for building a brighter future for Africa. As delegates departed, they carried with them not just new knowledge and insights, but also a renewed sense of commitment to the shared vision of Agenda 2063.