Rope in engineers for economic transformation


Good Day Mr President:Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi

DEAR Mr President,
I know you are busy, but hope you will find time to go through some of the suggestions outlined below aimed at jumpstarting our economy.

The only way to turn around Zimbabwe’s fortunes is in my opinion, to appoint professional engineers in positions of authority.

It is no secret that our infrastructure has been falling apart since the 1980s.

Zimbabwe is riddled with a multitude of crumbling roads and bridges, aging dams and outdated airports. Our infrastructure is virtually in the comatose.

While much of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure can be attributed to a lack of funding, many feel the main culprit is simply neglect.

Your Excellency, there is a lot of talk on why you are “by-passing” Parliament and have resorted to statutory instruments (SI) as a way to turn around Zimbabwe’s economy.

There is now a need to have SIs that will turn around the fortunes of the manufacturing sector and that process must be driven by professional engineers.

Our political structure is mostly dominated by lawyers, economists and accountants and there is now a need to appoint professional engineers in strategic government positions.

Your Excellency, governments in countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and now the world’s biggest economy China are dominated by engineers and advisory boards.

Reason being an engineer is a problem solver. These are the qualities that this country desperately needs.

Zimbabwe’s physical infrastructure — transport networks, roads, bridges, waste management, water and energy supplies — are all in a dilapidated state.

Your Excellency, Zimbabweans have to thank professional engineers for their digital infrastructure like communications and navigation networks that are part and parcel of our way of life.

Engineers continue to play a huge role in healthcare, food, manufacturing and research. Professional engineers are the ones who bring innovation to our country.

As you know, Germany is known for its automobile industry. But did you know, Germany has very advanced nanotechnology applications in various industries. Japan too,has its income now mainly from Animes and Mangas.

Mangas are Japanese comics, and Anime is the Japanese version of animation. In order to design those, they hire a lot of animation engineers. China is known for manufacturing electronic appliances at a cheaper cost.

This is not possible without an electronics and electrical engineer. So, engineers make a lot of difference in a nation’s technological advancement.

Talking about changes in technology by engineers, India is one more country that has a very big textile market that do a lot of varieties.

All these are not possible without textile engineers.

The Japanese economic growth was driven by an American engineering and industrial expert, W Edwards Deming.

Deming taught the Japanese manufacturers how to produce top quality products economically.

Some of the Japanese companies who adopted Deming theorems and concepts are Toyota Motor Corp and Sony Corp and became world-class producers in their fields, helping Japan become one of the planet’s dominant economic powers. Japan’s rise was the start of a regional metamorphosis. Asia eventually became a manufacturing giant.

Although American companies could have learned from Deming, most ignored him for decades even as Asian competitors gobbled away at Americans’ customer base and profits.

Your Excellency, Zimbabwe needs professional engineers to be actively involved in building infrastructure, engineering work has a much wider and more lasting impact.

It is common knowledge that infrastructure development helps to fuel economic growth. Well-built housing and sanitation improves the quality of life of all residents in Zimbabwe.

Good transport links make it easier for businesses to trade their goods and enable the workforce to be more mobile and on time.

High-speed internet can boost productivity, improve efficiencies, and help organisations to look beyond their local or national borders … this list is endless. There is no way Zimbabwe will develop to be a first world country without professional engineers leading from the front. Food for thought!