The Royal Academy of Engineering is showcasing its impact on enhancing collaboration, education, and diversity in engineering in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Academy will do this by delivering through its Africa grants programs, ahead of the second UNESCO World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on 4 March 2021.

The achievements of the Africa grants programs include

  • About 2000 professionals trained by Professional Engineering Institutions across sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Over 530 student industry placements since 2013. Number of students obtaining industry internships increased from 40% to 90% over the course of one project in Zambia
  • Diversity and Inclusion initiatives have driven equal gender participation in programs. A project from the Institute of Engineers Rwanda helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% in 2018 to 25% in 2019.
  • 50 individual course curricula reviewed and improved as a result of industry-academia partnerships.
  • Almost 50 UK organizations and 400 in-country bodies involved as project partners so far.

The Academy will release a series of videos highlighting the role of engineers in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Academy is helping to develop innovative solutions to a range of impending and accelerating challenges, through two key programs Higher Education Partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa (HEP-SSA) and GCRF Africa Catalyst.

The first, HEP SSA, provides industry placements for lecturers, equipping them to teach in line with the latest industry standards. The program addresses the gap between theoretical engineering knowledge taught to students across sub-Saharan Africa.

Through strong alliances with partner academic institutions, the Academy is helping to reshape teaching requirements and facilitate more opportunities.

The GCRF Africa Catalyst program leverages the Academy’s extensive network and expertise to strengthen national engineering organizations. More than Ksh. 534.7 million (£3.5 million) has been awarded in 37 projects across 14 countries to help these bodies promote better training, diversity and sustainability.

Commenting on the progress achieved, Yewande Akinola MBE, a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering GCRF Africa Catalyst Committee, said, “While we see immediate improvements in skills and innovation through these program, the real win is establishing a framework for lasting change.”