NEPAD Attempts to Promote African Women Engineers   

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By Daniel Sabiiti

Rwandan girls will be among the Africans to benefit from the women in engineering summit to learn direct technical skills and mentorship from global experts.

This is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NEPAD Agency, a technical agency of the African Union and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) to fast track engineering capacity building especially for women in Africa.

The exchange of MoU papers was officiated yesterday by Towela Nyirenda-Jere, the NEPAD Principal Programme office (regional integration Infrastructure) and Karen Bartleson, President and Chief Executive Officer of IEEE on the sidelines of the Transform Africa summit in Kigali this May 11, 2017.

Nyirenda-Jere said that workforce development in engineering is crucial to Africa’s development, especially for the infrastructure sector and entering this partnership will bridge the gap on local skills especially among women.

“These skills will enable African girls to fabricate African products locally. We want to look at how we can raise this cluster of engineers that are locally developed and can contribute to local solutions” Nyirenda-Jere on behalf of Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, NEPAD Agency’s CEO.

L2R; Dr Towela and Karen Bartleson exchange MOU papers signed between NEPAD and IEEE.

The signing of this MoU at the Transform Africa Summit signifies the priority of bridging skills barriers especially among women, which Heads of States, especially President Paul Kagame said is a priority towards Africa’s political will to growth.

Five African countries- Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana have been selected out of the 53 countries to benefit from this partnership.

Under the multi-year agreement, the organizations will collaborate on initiatives focused on workforce development through engineering capacity-building and educational activities, technical, scientific, and engineering policy development, and research and development to increase access to technical information.

In a more practical way the MoU has proposal potential technical events such as seminars, conferences and workshops and educational lectures- where the engineering skills will be disseminated.

“Focus will be initially in areas of energy and ICT and young African girls will be able to learn directly from other successful women engineers and experts. We will also provide teachers and students with lessons and resources that can be used to teach engineering,” Bartleson said.

IEEE is not a traditional partner of NEPAD, but the demand for research and skills development in sciences and technology, capacity building gaps that have resulted to Africa’s dependence, have compelled the AU organ to seek support to meet the 2063 sustainable goals agenda.

IEEE will be assisting in the delivery of the African development agenda of NEPAD Agency for the attainment of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“As one of the world’s largest engineering publishers, a major supporter of educational resources, a widely known developer of global technical standards, and a respected voice for the global engineering community, IEEE is well positioned for this collaboration” Bartleson of the IEEE*. said in a statement.

 

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