Engineering Skills Development:- Imperative to Africa’s Sustainable Future

Definition of Engineering Skills

  • The knowledge and talents required to enable an engineer or technologist to discharge his/her duties successfully, effectively and efficiently
  • the taking of initiative and responsibility of the individual for business situations that he confronts.
  • Participation to solving problems in group
  • It includes Hard and soft Skills


Dynamics of the engineering profession

  • Due to advancing technologies in ICT, robotics, big data, Artificial Intelligence and the advent of quantum computing, the amount of new technical information is doubling every two years, meaning that for students starting a 4-year engineering degree program, half of what they learn in the 1st year will be outdated in the third year of study.
  • We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems we don’t even know they exist.
  • The Top 10 in-demand jobs today did not exist 15 years ago
  • Increasingly there are more and more renowned and prestigious companies that no longer require a degree for work.

Challenges Created

  • Many skilled jobs are being lost to automation, AI and robotics now and more will be lost in the nearest future
  • Even without the effect of automation and robotics, there is a declining trend in skilled manpower in Nigeria and many African countries.
  • The trend is contributing to high unemployment rate of Africa’s youth population
  • On the other side, there is high rate of proliferation of new Universities as against Polytechnics, Technical Colleges and Skills Acquisition Centres, with attendant mad rush for degrees and higher qualifications, which do not necessarily translate to ability get a job or to solve practical problems facing our communities or countries.
  • Inadequate skilled manpower to meet the emerging dynamics in a country hampers economic growth and prosperity

The Moroccan Example

  • One of the best Skills Acquisition Programmes in Africa
  • Over 2,000 Institutions/ Vocational Training Centres across theKingdom run by both public and private sectors
  • over 600,000 young Moroccans from the age of 15 years upwards are being trained annually in skills of different trades covering building, ICT, automobile, electronics, hospitality, aviation, agricultural and other industries
  • Products of the Skills Centres are not only serving in Morocco, but many end up to serve in Middle East and Europe, where they are received with dignity and honour

Source: FIDIC.Africa

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