Eng Grace Kagondu seeks IEK presidency, vows to push for better remuneration

Engineer Grace Muthoni Kagondu makes her remarks as she launched her manifesto the the 2024-2024 IEK Presidency. [Patrick Vidija, Standard]

Engineer Grace Muthoni Kagondu has today announced her candidature to contest for the presidency of the Institution of Engineers of Kenya, IEK.

While launching her manifesto, Kagondu who currently works as Manager at the Research Department of the Central Bank of Kenya said she will prioritise advocating for policies and legal frameworks that support the engineering profession.

Kagondu who has been serving as the 1st Vice President for the 2022-24 term seeks to succeed Eng Erick Ohaga who is the current President in the national election to be conducted on March 21.

She has previously served as Chair of the Capacity Building and Mentorship Committee and Vice Chair of Events Committee.

She holds a B.Sc (Hons) in Civil Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Project Management both from the University of Nairobi.

She is a Registered Engineer with the Engineers Board of Kenya as a Structural Engineer and has extensive working experience as a Structural Engineer and Engineering Projects Manager in both the private and public sectors.

“As one way of taking the institution forward, I intend to revitalize the secretariat to deliver an ambitious strategic plan which we have developed in partnership with the Engineers Board of Kenya,” she said.

She said although the institution has made some progress in championing the welfare of engineers across the country, there still exists some hurdles that need collective efforts to overcome.

“We are not at a bad place but in my view, we can do better than what has been done for us to be able to move forward. In collaboration with our partners, I will champion for the creation of a pathway for those with a passion in the engineering world so that they are mentored and guided into the dos and don’ts,” she said.

She added, “The reason some substandard products have found their way in the market is because of the lower remuneration for these professionals but I promise to come up with a spirited campaign that will not only voice for favourable terms and have a voice on the decision-making table but also push for better remuneration for these engineers”.

She said the biggest challenge has been engineers being elbowed out of projects when they are midway, a situation that has partly contributed to the collapse of buildings or any other infrastructure-related projects.

Kogondu said her presidency will also work hard for a revision of the current funding model of state-backed projects which most of the time prefer ‘foreign’ engineers as opposed to what the local market has.

“The current model of funding and pre-signed contracts are compounded by so many harsh conditions that have seen our members shy away. However, I seek to knock the doors of our partners to ensure the ground is level for all of us,” she said.

This she said will be won through awareness and more engagements in the area of Public-Private partnerships so that they can set their terms.

Engineer Grace Muthoni Kagondu joins a group of supporters in a dance after she launched her manifesto the the 2024-2024 IEK Presidency. [Patrick Vidija, Standard]

She said with major state projects, she will push for knowledge transfer to local engineers in efforts for capacity building.

“We have engineers in all government sectors whose voices are not heard. In hospitals, the hospitality industry, finance sectors, and my focus would be to bring all these voices together and consult on what best fits the industry,” said Kagondu.

My vision for IEK is clear; a revitalised institution that is inclusive, forward-thinking, and influential both locally and globally. I envisage an IEK that not only sets standards of excellence but also nurtures the next generation of engineers, leverages the talent of seasoned professionals, advocates for the Engineering profession, and contributes meaningfully to society,” she said.

She said her presidency will be pegged on pillars of innovation, transformation and impact.

While promising to tackle the issue of skill mismatch and market needs, Kagondu said she will engage those in the academia and seek a quick turnaround that will place young engineers in a competitive position in the marketplace.

“It's crucial to recognise that it's the young minds within our organisation who possess the creativity, passion, and capability to bring about transformative change in the engineering landscape. I humbly urge the youth of IEK to allow me to demonstrate my commitment to supporting and empowering them on their journey,” she said.

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