The purpose of this event, held on 31 January 2019, was to provide UNESCO member nation delegations from Africa with information on the work of WFEO in relation to engineering. In particular, the goal was to show the work of WFEO and the strategic objective of WFEO to support the nation building aspirations of African nations.
The event was convened by the Africa Working Group on Natural Sciences at UNESCO, which is Chaired by the delegation from Namibia. Attendees were from English and French speaking member delegations from Africa.
UNESCO officials Ms. Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director General at UNESCO, Natural Sciences Sector and Mr. Firmin Matoko, Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relations made opening remarks. Mr. Yahia Al-Matarr Jobe, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Gambia to UNESCO, Member of the Africa Group on Natural Sciences chaired the session.
Presentations were made by WFEO leaders including the President and President Elect and leaders from Africa representing the East, West and South of Africa and women engineers. The speakers were:
- Dr. Marlene Kanga , Australia, President World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) – on the background of WFEO as an organisation and the strategic objective to build capacity for engineers for sustainable development in Africa and the WFEO Engineering 2030 Plan.
- Prof. Gong Ke , China, WFEO President Elect, on the WFEO UNESCO Declaration, and commitment of WFEO to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the work of WFEO technical committees and partners.
- Mr. Mustafa Shehu , Nigeria, – Past President Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO), WFEO Executive Council member on the work of WFEO in Africa including the WFEO Abuja Declaration and the recognition of Africa in the affairs of WFEO.
- Mr. Martin Manuhwa , Zimbabwe, President Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO), on the work of FAEO in collaboration with WFEO and the Work of the WFEO Committee on Anti-Corruption.
- Ms. Valerie Agberagba , Nigeria, Chair WFEO Committee for Women in Engineering – on the work of the Committee to attract girls in STEM careers – what is needed, what WFEO is doing statistical Data on women in Science & Engineering in Rwanda Nigeria & Malawi, the Africa Women’s Forum at Africa Engineering Week and other projects.
- Mr. Papias Kazawadi Dedeki , Rwanda, President Institution of Engineers Rwanda (IER), Host WFEO Annual Conference and meeting 2020, and IER work in developing the registration system for engineers in Rwanda.
- Mr. Jacques de Méreuil , WFEO Executive Director, spoke on the Proposal for World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development – the benefits of the Day and relevance to Africa – i.e. increasing the profile of engineering, encouraging more young people to consider engineering and encouraging more women and girls into engineering careers.
- Dr. Peggy Oti-Boateng, Director for Capacity Building in Sciences at UNESCO, spoke about the need for more work on engineering at UNESCO and for increased funding of projects.
Following a lively discussion, the WFEO President read a draft Action statement for endorsement by the Africa Working Group on Natural Sciences . Copies of the Paris Declaration on Sustainable Development Goals , the WFEO Engineering 2030 Plan and the Young Engineers Competition Report in English and French were distributed to attendees.
The event was very successful with WFEO providing information on its activities in English and French and simultaneous translation facilities. This is also an opportunity to build membership of WFEO in Francophone Africa and to build awareness and support of the proposal for World Engineering Day .
For more information:
WFEO Statement on Advancing SDG through Engineering in Africa
WFEO Engineering 2030 Plan / Version française abrégée
Young Engineers Advancing the UN SDGs / Version française abrégée
The Paris Declaration / Version française
The Abuja Declaration
All the photos in high quality
World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development webpage