ZIMBABWE has only 1 500 civil, mechanical, architectural and scientific engineers out of about 6 000 accredited professionals in the field. This emerged during the Zimbabwe Infrastructure Development Conference here on Tuesday where delegates raised concerns about shortage of engineers in the country, as some have left the country for greener pastures.
Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers president, Engineer Israel Rwodzi said the conference was meant to position engineers in the country’s economic revival drive towards a “Built Environment”, an economy based on infrastructure development.
Eng Rwodzi said the role of engineers was critical in the context of a Zimbabwe that is open for business.
“As investors are coming into the country, we can’t sit and not benefit the country.
“We want to recall those who are outside in the region because the shortage we have is a result of brain drain,” he said.
“We have 1 500 engineers in the country out of a possible 6 000 who are outside the country.”
Eng Rwodzi said the country has trained enough engineers across all sectors and these can return back to the country once the economy picks up.
He said under normal circumstances the country should have about 18 000 engineers but was OK with the 6 000 if they all return home.
About 300 engineers including engineering consultants from a cross section of the economy attended the conference, which was officially opened by President Mnangagwa yesterday.
About the conference he said: “This is a special investment conference where we have all Built Environment engineers and those whose roles are related to the field. This comes after realisation that the country is going into a new phase and that engineering plays a pivotal role hence we need to walk together with government”.
Among topical issues was the need to bolster training amid concerns that the calibre of students coming out of tertiary institutions were failing to make the grade in the industry.
Engineers appealed for revival of the apprentice programmes, which they said were towards effective training.
The conference ran under the theme: “Accelerated Infrastructure Investment, Development and Delivery”.
Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls