FAEO wants that Africa to build its own indigenous engineering capacity as Bou-Chedid outlines Agenda for united African Engineering community

Ing. Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid, a female Ghanaian Engineer was on January 29 inaugurated in an historic ceremony where she became the first female and fifth president the Federation of African Engineering Organization (FAEO). The event which held both online via zoom and offline in Ghana was well attended by many and herald in new dawn for the African Engineers. The event was hosted by Ghana Institution of Engineering, GhIE, of which Ing. Bou-Chedid was its immediate past president.

Handing over the mantle of leadership to Ing. Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid, the outgoing President of FAEO, Eng. Martin Manuhwa expressed delight that his successor is the first ever female President of FAEO. He assured the new President of his full support in carrying her mandate to the federation.

In her acceptance speech, the 5th President of FAEO, Ing. Bou-Chedid appreciated the Engineering community: “I appreciate the honour done to me, to Ghanaian Engineering and to Women in Africa and around the world by placing me in this position. I am fortunate to have been surrounded throughout of my life by many distinguished engineers who by their example prepared the grounds for me to occupy this lofty position”.

She paid glowing tribute to the 50 engineers that held the position of President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers before and after her, including her own father, the late Past President Ing. EYS Engmann.

To the FAEO Past Presidents, Ing. Bou-Chedid said: “I would like to recognize also, my predecessor Presidents in FAEO, who through their dedication, hard work and actions, have within a short space of time brought FAEO to its current position of recognition. From its inception in 2012, President Martin Van Veelan of South Africa, helped to nurture a fledgling organization which had very few resources. President, Mustapha Shehu of Nigeria pursued International recognition for the organization and succeeded in developing a partnership with the AU as outlined in an MOU”.

She said that under FAEO President Julius Riungu of Kenya, fundraising efforts paid off and FAEO began strengthening its Secretariat and governance structures.

While unveiling her agenda, Bou-Chedid listed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) as one of the priority areas of significance to FAEO that her administration will pay close attention to. She said: “AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects that have been identified by the AU as being key to accelerating Africa’s economic growth and development. The harmonisation of standards in goods and services will be a critical requirement in the implementation of AfCFTA and FAEO is uniquely positioned to deliver on this in the engineering sector.”

She stressed that Africa cannot develop without engineering and that FAEO has been driving the Sustainable Goals on Africa will continue to drives the sustainable socio-economic development of Africa through engineering. She emphasised that “Africa must build its own indigenous engineering capacity.” as “Large numbers of engineering practitioners will be needed in diverse fields to achieve the AU’s vision for Africa Agenda 2063 and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)”

As part of the efforts to deepen inclusivity and also achieve Gender Balance, the President said that “Diversity in the engineering workforce will also be promoted.” and that FEAO through its Women in the Engineering Committee will be leading the effort to engage more women in active engineeirng. She added that she hope that her election as first female president can serve as inspiration for many young females in Africa and indeed around the world.

On the mobility of Engineering worlkforce across national borders in Africa, for deployment of available skills, Bou-Chedid said, FAEO, under administration “will work with partner organisations like FEIAP IEA, to establish unified standards across the continent for engineering education and professional engineering practice and registration.” It will also promote the accreditation of programmes to internationally acceptable standards and levels and the development of the capacity of the African engineer to be globally competitive.”

In Policy and Politics, Bou-Chedid recognizes the importance of constructive engagement with the stakeholders and therefore set agenda to “take advantage of its relationship with the African Union to proactively engage governments and key stakeholders to guide public policy at national, regional and international level on matters related to engineering.” In addition, the organization will “encourage its professional engineering institutions to engage their political leaders, civil service, religious leaders, civil society and other professional bodies on the need for focus on engineering, together with science, technology and innovation.”

Drawing from the lessons of COVID 19 Pandemic, the president emphasized the need promote the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in critical areas required for development in Africa.

In concluding, she showed a special appreciation to Immediate Past President of FAEO, Eng. President Martin Manuwha, saying, “the gentleman who has just handed over the running of FAEO to me, aside from continuing the work began by his predecessors, strategically developed partnerships with many international organisations, all designed to help FAEO achieve its objectives. In addition, he ensured that all five regions of FAEO became active and are now united by the common aim of helping to engineer Africa’s development.”

Among the top Engineers who attended in the investiture included Executive Vice President of the World Federation of Engineers, Engr. Mustafa Balarabe. Shehu, Immediate Past President of FAEO, Eng. Martin Manuhwa, Past Presidents of FAEO, Executive Board Members and Regional heads of FAEO, Representatives of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, AU, UNESCO, FEIAP and Women in Engineering (WiNE) of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, Presidents and Chief Executive Officers of Professional Engineering Institutions and Engineering Organizations as well as the President of GhIE, Ing. Alexander Leslie Ayeh, Executive Director of GhIE, Ing. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong and members of Ghana Institution of Engineering.

The full list of the new Executive Council of the Federation are:

  1. Ing. (Mrs.) Carlien Bou-Chedid- President (Ghana)
  2. Eng. Papias Kazawadi- President- Elect (Rwanda)
  3. Eng. Martin Manuhwa – Immediate Past President (Zimbabwe)
  4. Eng. Sammy Mohammed -Treasurer (Egypt)
  5. Eng. Fils Kazadi Nkashamba -CAFEO-President FAEO- Vice- President (Democratic Republic of Congo )
  6. Eng.Collins G. Juma – EAFEO-President – FAEO-Vice- President (Kenya)
  7. Eng. George Sitali – SAFEO-President – FAEO-Vice- President -(Zambia)
  8. Eng. Hany Dahy – NAFEO-President – FAEO-Vice- President -(Egypt)
  9. Engr. Otis Anyaeji – WAFEO-President – FAEO-Vice-President (Nigeria)
  10. Dr. Martin Van Veelen – Chair, Infrastructure Working Group – (South Africa)
  11. Eng. Dr. Ben Rafimoyo- Acting Chair, Capacity Building Committee (STC) (Zimbabwe)
  12. Eng. Yashin Brijmohan – Chair Engineering Education (STC) – (South Africa)
  13. Engr. Yetunde Holloway – Chair, Women in Engineering (STC) -(Nigeria)
  14. Engr. Michael Kamau – Chair, Young Engineers (STC) -(Kenya)
  15. Engr. Ovens F. Ehimatie – Executive Director, FAEO – (Nigeria)

Report by Isqil Najim

Africa cannot develop without engineering and we have positioned ourselves to drives the sustainable socio-economic- Bou Chedid

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