Experts and policymakers attending the eighth edition of the African Engineering Week and the sixth Africa Engineering Conference on Tuesday called for concerted efforts to uplift the state of engineering in Africa.

This year’s Africa Engineering Week and Conference, which runs until Friday in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, is being held under the theme “Accelerating Sustainable Infrastructure Development in Africa Together.” 

Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde during the occasion emphasized the need for African countries to connect their shared experience and capabilities toward uplifting the state of engineering across the African continent. 

“The effort in infrastructure needs to be supported by the development of soft skills through engineering education and enhancement of technical skills,” Zewde said.

The Ethiopian president emphasized the need to invest in engineering education and technical capacity so as to realize the continent’s development aspiration. 

Carlien Bou-Chedid, Federation of African Engineering Organizations (FAEO), on her part, emphasized that the African continent needs to accelerate sustainable infrastructure development in Africa so as to drive the continent’s socio-economic development. 

“There can be no development without infrastructure and there can not be infrastructure without engineering,” the FAEO president said. 

She further called on the African continent to exert concerted efforts in knowledge transfer and experience sharing, with particular emphasis and investment given to enabling the future generation as well as the most disadvantaged segment of the population, particularly women.

The event is organized in collaboration with the Federation of African Engineering Organizations, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, and UNESCO. 

Yonas Ayalew, President of the Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineers, on his part, said the continental gathering will contribute to Africa’s engineering sector with the dissemination of latest research and scientific findings in the sector. 

According to the organizers, infrastructure is crucial for facilitating economic development and a better quality of life.

This has also been well recognized in both the African Union’s 50-year development Agenda 2063 as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

The annual continental conference is expected to examine how the development of infrastructure can be undertaken in a sustainable manner to help raise living standards, assist in the exploitation of natural resources, improve health, and industrialize. – Xinhua