The Engineering Profession We Want 34 Years After Independence

William Hangula

In March 2019, the World Federation of Engineering Organisations launched World Engineering Day, which was adopted by the United Nations as a celebration of the pivotal role engineering plays in shaping our societies.

Namibia proudly joined this initiative, and marks World Engineering Day every year.

It is a time to reaffirm our commitment to harnessing the power of engineering for sustainable development.

This year, under the theme ‘Engineering Solutions for a Sustainable World’, we again united with the global engineering community to highlight engineering’s transformative power .

We recognise our responsibility as engineers to drive positive change and build a more sustainable future for all.


Earlier this year, the Namibian Society of Engineers (NASE) held its convention, a significant milestone in our journey towards a more vibrant and dynamic engineering profession in Namibia.

The society reaffirmed its role in the local engineering sector, revised its founding constitution, adopted a visionary agenda and its founding leaders democratically passed on the baton of leadership.

NASE has a special responsibility to ensure a more equitable Namibian engineering fraternity and lead the profession in striving to achieve global standards.

Over the years, it has become the go-to beacon of excellence and advocacy for Namibian engineers and institutions, with a network of members and affiliates dedicated to driving socio-economic change in our communities, upholding the aims, objectives and principles intended by Namibia’s founding fathers [and mothers] when they drafted and adopted the Namibian Constitution in 1990.

Charles Mukwaso


It would be remiss, however, not to acknowledge the stubborn challenges that have plagued Namibia’s engineering fraternity over the years, which is why so much corrective work has had to be done.

The near obsolescence of the 1986 Engineering Profession Act, selective adherence to the law and the vagueness of key administrative instruments have been career-dismembering challenges for Namibian engineers.

Many of our graduates don’t see a clear path to success in their chosen career.

As a key industry, these challenges have hindered our ability to operate effectively, stifled innovation and, in many respects, impeded our desire to attain international standards .

Nevertheless, we are committed to overcoming these challenges.

It goes back to the legislative authorities – through the new engineering profession bill endorsed by the ECN in 2020.

It presents an opportunity to recalibrate the industry and put it on a path that works for all Namibians and those working tirelessly to develop the Land of the Brave.

As we mark 34 years of independence, we want an engineering profession in step with the needs of modern Namibia, where gazetted government notices are complied with, and where standards are clear, respected and followed.

This is the only way to ensure eased entry into the profession, equality and justice and the dignity of the rightful place of engineers in society.

It is also the only way to align with international standards and protocols and to ensure Namibian engineers are indispensable and can compete on the global stage and contribute to creating a sustainable world.


It is a moment in the history of Namibian engineering where all citizens are able to participate meaningfully in building the engineering profession we want – one that empowers, inspires, supports and promotes ingenuity and transforms lives in the quest for a better Namibia and world.

This is what our heroes and heroines would have wanted us to achieve when they sacrificed their lives for us in a bitter war that used weapons made through engineering work to fight for a free, just, independent and generationally prosperous Namibia.

  • * Charles Mukwaso is the first and immediate past president of the Namibian Society of Engineers.
  • * William Hangula is the current president of the Namibian Society of Engineers.

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