Jackson Mubangizi – President, UIPE

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Engineer Jackson Mubangizi has been president of UIPE for three years. Formally, he was the Vice Chairman and honouree secretary of the Kampala branch. His responsibilities among other include directing the policy decisions of the institution, chairing and representing the institution at national, internationaland regional forums as well as providing guidance to government and other stake holders on engineering matters.

Born on 17th May in 1971, Eng Jackson Mubangizi had his secondary education from Rukoni secondary school and Mbarara high school. He is a holder of a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering-Mechanical from Makerere University Kampala.

He has training in various fields like in quality management systems, environmental management system as well as occupational health and safety. Heis currently the Manager for the training and consultancy department at UNBS- Uganda National Bureau of standards, an institution with a mission to enhance national development through the application of standards in trade, industry and consumer protection.

His roles include building capacity of the industry in implementation of standards through training and consultancy services.

Eng. Jackson Mubangiziwas previously heading UNBS surveillance which was responsible for verification of goods for compliance to Ugandan standards.

He was also in charge of the weights and measures department. His responsibilities included verification of weighing and measuring equipment for compliance standards.

Prior to that, Eng. Jackson Mubangizi was the Managing Director of “Med technologies Limited”, a construction company involved in supervision of construction works that also included gravity flow schemes, road works, fabrication of water tanks as well as construction of valley dams and distribution networks.

Eng.Mubangizi has developed competencies in various projects and accumulated a lot of knowledge in management. The blending of his engineering practise and standardisation sets him apart from other engineers.

He aims to offer consultancies mainly in management engineering projects focusing on standardising services to create a competitive edge in organisations through credible management systems.

His view on Professionalism in the Construction Industry
Eng Jackson Mubangizi says the construction industry in Uganda on a big percentage currently lacks professional engineers and this leads to substandard works in the industry. Many people choose to use non-professionals because they provide cheaper services. Nonetheless some industries do have professionals. It’s with this intent that UIPE was formed to provide professional engineers to fill the gaps.

However absorption capacity of these professional engineers is still low in Uganda.

Uganda Institution of professional engineers(UIPE)
The Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE) was established as an association of Professional Engineers of Uganda in 1972. it was a successor to the defunct East Africa Institution of Engineers (EAIE), which had started in 1945 .

The objectives and purposes of the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers are to promote the general advancement of the science and practice of engineering and its applications, and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas on those subjects amongst the members of the Institution.

Current membership is of about 1500 members that include fellows, cooperate graduates, technologists, professional engineers, technicians among others.

They also have student members whom they groom to become professional engineers in future.
UIPE also has graduate apprentice programs that focus on training graduate engineers aiming at fulfilment of registration requirements as engineers.

Challenges faced while training professional engineers
Engineer JacksonMubangizi articulates that they have a problem of insufficient funds to train the engineers. Furthermore training in emerging areas like the oil industry  are quite challenging because Uganda lacks Professionals in such fields thereby having no role models to inspire their professionals in training.

More so, the public doesn’t demand for professional services quite often as they should which renders professionals out of work.

However EngineerMubangizi recognises that the industry is growing and demands more professional engineers to keep growing and react to the pressure.

The Professionals in Uganda are aware that they are players in the East African community and are also aware that engineers are coming in from other countries to fill the gaps they are not filling. They have therefore signed an MRA- mutual recognition agreement to allow Professionals in Uganda to go out to other regions and compete. Uganda is also welcoming otherprofessionals into the region.

The signatories for this agreement are Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Burundi and Rwanda are in the process of coming on board. The focus of this agreement is to build capacities in terms of numbers and areas of speciality to be able to compete with proffessionals beyond the boarder.In otherwards sharing of information at the continental level so as to be more competent.

In a nut shell, Government should play a role in promoting a drive on use of professional engineers and correspondingly the public needs to learn to make use of professional services so as to boost the Ugandan construction industry more.