(Xinhua) — Engineering experts on Wednesday said that shortage of engineering skills among Africans on the continent remains a threat towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Africa.
They said this while speaking at the Rwanda national engineering conference that opened on Wednesday in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
The 2018 engineering conference dubbed “Challenges for the sustainability of Rwanda engineering companies and firms” runs from August 22 to 23.
“Engineers in Africa are in short supply and the continent needs at least 2.5 million new engineers to meet Africa’s sustainable development goals,” said Martin Manuhwa, vice president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO).
He noted that engineering profession on the continent lacks the numbers required to create sustainable economic and social infrastructure that would boost Africa’s efforts to achieve SDGs.
The two-day conference has brought together engineering experts, student engineers, government officials and representatives from the private sector and civil society organizations from Rwanda and beyond to discuss the role of engineering in Rwanda’s economic transformation.
Kazawadi Papias Dedeki, president of institution of engineers, Rwanda said that engineers play a key role in the creation of infrastructure to accelerate industrial development and alleviate poverty.
“There is need to invest in engineering education and encourage African young girls and boys to consider career in engineering if the continent was to achieve SDGs,” he noted.
Speaking at the event, Claver Gatete, Rwandan minister of infrastructure said that Africa needs to catch up with rest of the world in terms of engineering skills.
“Science, technology and engineering have always been strong pillars in driving prosperity and development in the developed world. It’s time for Africa to put much emphasis on producing engineers,” he added.