Kampala, 18th January 2024: The Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) and the Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers (UIPE) held a strategic meeting at the UMA Head Office, to outline the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two institutions.
The MoU encompasses various components, with a focus on initiatives aimed at advancing the manufacturing and construction industry.
Among the key components in the MoU are plans for organizing a symposium, establishing tailored graduate trainee programs for undergraduate students, issuing joint press releases on a quarterly basis, and implementing advocacy and awareness programs. These initiatives are designed to strengthen ties between UMA and UIPE and contribute to the growth and sustainability of the construction and manufacturing sector.
Eng. Henry Mpuuga, a representative from UIPE, noted that engineers are increasingly functioning as laborers rather than innovators, emphasizing the urgent need to equip them, especially students, with essential soft skills crucial for their success in the job market. Eng. Mpuuga also stressed the importance of nurturing innovation within the engineering community as it is a key driver for economic development.
Mr. Allan Senyondwa, the Policy and Advocacy Director at UMA, expressed dissatisfaction with the perceived inability of institutions to adequately prepare students for the job market. He lamented the rise of individuals falsely claiming to be engineers without possessing basic skills, leading to a surge in impostors within the field thus leading to the various cases of shoddy work.
Key action points:
- Conduct a quarterly symposium.
- Publicity campaign to create awareness for the outreach activities
- Conduct joint outreaches in selected industries to increase membership for the two institutions.
- UMA to register all engineers at factories.
- Introduction of tailored programs to equip undergraduate students with practical skills that align with the manufacturing industry’s needs.
- Streamline communication channels to enhance coordination.
- Conduct a well-structured GTP and share all the relevant documentation (GTP guidelines and IPD package) of the program with UMA for review and input.
- Create joint press releases every quarter
The initiatives outlined aim to bridge the skill gaps amongst students and engineers, encourage innovation, and elevate the standards within the engineering and manufacturing sectors.