Professional Group Urges African Engineers to find Solutions to Developmental Challenges
African engineers must be fully involved in the processes aimed at tackling developmental problems in Africa if the continent must catch up with the developed world, President of the African Engineering Deans Council (AEDC), Engr. (Professor) Moses Obiazi has declared.
Speaking at a press conference held on Monday, July 24, 2017, to herald the 3rd African Engineering Deans Council Summit, Engr. Obiazi said that Africa needs well-educated citizens with skills entrenched in the Sciences, as well as Technology and Innovation to attain a high standard of living.
The summit with the theme, ‘Engineering for Socio-Economic Development of Africa’, was scheduled to hold from July 24-26, 2017 and hosted by Covenant University.
According to the council president, apart from science, technology and innovation, others like, sanitation, access to shelter, water, energy, ICT and modern agriculture must be addressed in order to achieve increased productivity.
“To realise this, our African engineers must be fully involved; Africa must solve Africa’s problems. Currently, we do not have a specific policy framework to encourage and mobilise African engineers to collaborate in solving Africa’s infrastructure and developmental challenges,” he said.
Engr. Obiazi revealed that the AEDC was poised to work with the African Union (AU) to foster collaboration and synergy in developing the technologies and skill manpower required to tackle Africa’s multiple infrastructural and developmental challenges. “This will raise the bar of growth and advancement for the continent,” he opined.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Global Engineering Deans Council, Professor Peter Kilpatrick, said that Nigeria may not advance economically if it fails to encourage her graduates to be innovative. He said that if the only thing Nigerian engineers did after graduating was to work for companies or migrate to other countries, Nigeria would never solve its economic challenges.
“This is because, in addition to working for other companies or leaving the country, they need to innovate and help create new companies and ideas at home in Nigeria. That is how the whole world is advancing economically and that is what Nigeria really needs to do,” he said.
He added that a very important ingredient in preparing universities and other engineering students is to teach them how to be innovative and create new companies, because that is where the jobs will come from.
Also speaking at the event, the President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Engr. Kashim Ali, said that the council was working hard to bridge the gap between the academia and the industry. He said that this would help in improving skills among undergraduates of universities.
According to him, there is the need for government to also encourage indigenous industries in order to encourage economic growth. He bemoaned the rate of building collapse incidents in the country, saying that the development was becoming embarrassing to the council.
“Oftentimes, when these buildings fall, they blame it on the engineers, but you find that no structural engineer is involved in the construction of such buildings. The actual reason behind these collapses are quackery and quacks, who claim to be engineers,” he said.