The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Local Engineers Lack Professional Body

LACK of a legally-binding professional body has been cited as the reason why local engineers missed out on the regional mutual recognition agreement signed between the East African Community countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

The agreement, which left out Rwanda and Burundi for lack of 'professional conformity, seeks to help regional engineers by facilitating them to freely move and operate from any of the countries that signed the deal.

If Rwanda signs the agreement it means that local engineers will be allowed to explore the regional market and engineers from the member countries will have the rights to operate in Kigali without scrutinising of their academic credentials.

"We did not sign the agreement because we lacked the legal professional body. However, we will soon launch it, to enable us be party to the regional body," Dismas Nkubana, the executive secretary of the association of engineers in Rwanda said.

He said that despite the fact that the association has been in place, it is yet to be recognised legally.

Nkubana said that the law regulating the establishment of such bodies was recently passed adding that they are now in the process of registering members who will form the body, and that deadline for registration is this week.

"After putting the body in place we shall convene stakeholders meeting and invite our east African counterparts, after which we will formally request to sign the agreement," he added.

Monica Rowena, an engineer at National Land Centre observed that Rwandans as citizens in the regional community should equally benefit from the integration process like the rest.

"I would also need to go and work in Nairobi or Kampala because the integration principle is all about competiveness meaning that we need to exercise our professions elsewhere in the region," she said in an interview.

Cyuma Vuningoma a telecom engineer with MTN Rwanda said "it's a good idea to move and share experience with others in the region but we cannot do it if we lack a national body that will guide us," he said.

The agreement is seen as a developing factor to facilitate economic integration; increase availability of greater consumer choice of engineering services, increase opportunities for mutual learning and sharing regulatory experience.

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