After completing his education at the University of Khartoum, Sudan Mr Hussein Omer Kisha started his career in 1957 as Asst. Mech. Engineer in the Mechanical Engineering Dept. of the Sudan Gezira Board, the government body responsible for the management of the Sudan Gezira Scheme – a vast agricultural scheme of about two million acres growing cotton, wheat, millet, groundnuts and vegetables. He was sent to UK from 1958–61 for further educational studies at Leeds College of Technology and Manchester College of Science and Technology and for industrial training with various companies such as Hunslet Engine Co, John Shaw Co and Massey Ferguson Co.
It might be worth mentioning that at this time in the early sixties the Sudan gained its independence from the English and a small band of dedicated Sudanese engineers returned from their training in England to take over from their English counterparts.
In 1969 Mr Kisha became Chief Mechanical Engineer with the responsibility of the provision, operation, upkeep and maintenance of all Board plant, machinery and equipment which included ploughs, vehicles, Gezira Light Railway, gins, well-boring operations together with contributing to the mechanisation of agricultural operations. About 2,200 employees of all grades were under his supervision.
In 1975 a unit for Agro-Industries was set up in the Scheme and at the same time he was promoted to Asst. Managing Director for Industrial Affairs to implement this. For him it was an opportunity to utilise his extensive experience in management, production and mechanical engineering to the best of his ability. During the next 5 years he established the Dept. for Agro-Industries. The implementation of groundnut shelling plants throughout the scheme, a rice-hulling factory and the modernisation of the ginning factories was seen along with pilot projects for the processing of tomatoes for sauce, cotton stalks for paper, chipboard and charcoal. He participated on a consultancy basis in local development projects including a textile factory and flour and feed mills.
In 1980 he emigrated to Saudi Arabia and until 1991 worked in Jeddah as Technical Advisor for Mahmood Saeed Est for Trade and Industry with an intensive contribution to the establishment of their industrial sector including the following large plants:
- Jeddah Glassware Project
- Saudi Perfume & Cosmetics Factory
- Saudi Fruit Juice & Beverage Industry (Pepsi Cola)
- Jeddah Beverage Can Making Co Ltd
- National Factory for Can Ends Ltd
- Gizan Plastic Factory
- Jeddah Foam & Laminates Factory
Many of his colleagues and engineers testified to his high professional capability and his desire to further the engineering profession in the Sudan. His publications include 'Rice Production in the Gezira – a Reality' 1975 and 'Progress of Agro-Industries in the Gezira' 1979. Recently he was writing a book on the role of the engineer in Sudan and the Gezira Scheme in particular, his family are keen for this to be published.
Mr Kisha who passed away in June 2006 was a Chartered Engineer, Council of Engineers, UK and had been a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and technology, UK, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK, a Fellow of the Economic Development Institute, Washington and a Fellow of the Engineering Society, Sudan.