Papias Kazawadi Dedeki, a Rwandan civil engineer and a member of the Rwandan Institution of Engineers, has been appointed president of the Federation of African Engineering Organization (FAEO).
The FAEO is an international non-governmental organisation which represents engineering professions in Africa internationally.
Kazawadi was appointed the organisation’s president on Friday, January 27, during the 2023 FAEO Engineering Policy Conference in Kigali hosted by the Rwandan Institution of Engineers in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Themed “Unleashing the opportunities in AfCFTA (continental free trade area) implementation,” the one-day event attracted about 200 delegates from across the continent.
Presidents of national, regional and continental engineering bodies, leading experts in various engineering fields, policy makers, the private sector and the academia discussed the engineering opportunities in the AfCFTA and Africa in general.
The Minister of State for Infrastructure, Patricie Uwase, said the conference is “vital and has come at the right time” when leaders from governments and private sector players particularly on the African continent need to come together and seize engineering opportunities in the AfCFTA, assess the constraints involved and plan for future engagements as well as profitable connections.
She added: “Engineering plays a key role in development of every economy; ranging from; technological capabilities, industrial activities, economic growth and human capital. What we refer to by engineering in this context is the process of digesting and combining knowledge, resources and arts to boost innovation in Africa.”
Uwase told reporters that the fact that a Rwandan will be leading FAEO shows that the Rwandan Institution of Engineers is getting stronger, day by day.
Kazawadi’s tenure at the helm of FAEO will last for two years, starting this month.
In an interview, he expressed his delight for the new responsibilities but also reflected on how daunting the tasks that await him are.
“It is of great valuable to be entrusted with such responsibilities. I am really happy for it, but at the same time aware that it requires a lot of effort. I am hoping that my colleagues will work together with me to fulfil these responsibilities,” he said.
According to him, one of the things that he wants to focus on during his work as the president is making sure that the engineering profession will play a role in the implementation of the AfCFTA, and the development of African countries in general.
Carlien Bou-Chedid, the outgoing FAEO president, told the media that during her tenure, FAEO made efforts to be a more competent body that was able to deliver on its objectives.
“Now we are in the process of trying to expand FAEO’s reach, and now we are also encouraging engineering firms and institutions to join,” she noted.
According to Steven Sabiti, the Executive Secretary of the Rwandan Institution of Engineers, the 2023 FAEO conference is a platform for engineering professionals from across the continent to discuss strategies and draw resolutions aimed at defining and concretising their role in building momentum towards ‘the Africa We Want’ which is envisaged in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agenda.
He referred to it as an opportune moment for Rwandan engineers to network with their peers across the continent and establish necessary synergies to help them expand their horizons.
About Papias Kazawadi,
Kazawadi Papias Dedeki, is the immediate past President and Chairman of the Governing Council of Institution of Engineers Rwanda and current Chairman Board of Directors at SCC Ltd and its former Managing Director, a technical committee member on civil engineering and urban planning standards, chairman of manufacturing sector skills council, the current secretary to the board and the former vice chairman of the Rwanda’s association of contractors (AEBTP).
He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Project Management based in Hong Kong with Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Engineering and Management, a diploma in Architectural Draughtsmanship with 25 years of practical experience in Rwanda’s construction industry under which he has supervised the implementation several irrigation and civil engineering projects to successful completion.
He is also an Associate member of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (ACIArb) UK and is on the KIAC’s panel of Arbitrators and Accredited Mediators. The experiences gained range from Leadership, entrepreneurship, construction management, costing and estimating, manpower and materials planning, contract negotiations, team building with ability to motivate; guide and coach towards attaining results.
He is also a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering and Technology for Developing World (AETDEW) which has a mission to mobilise the engineering technological and scientific community in the developing world to help the south to achieve the 17 SDGs by 2030 principally through South South Cooperation.
In 2019 November during the World Engineering Convention that took place from Melbourne, Australia he was appointed and approved by the General Assembly as the Chair of the Policy Implementation Committee on Anti-Corruption (WFEO-CAC) at the World Federation of Engineering Organizations.
He is President of the Federation of African Engineering Organizations (FAEO) since 1 January 2023.