It is with my great joy and pleasure that the Federation of African Engineering Organisations
(FAEO) joins the rest of the world in celebrating the first World Engineering Day for Sustainable
Development (WED2020). Indeed, the first WED2020 on the 4th of March this year is historic. The
key role of engineering in infrastructure development and provision of solutions to society’s
problems led UNESCO member countries and WFEO, FAEO and over 80 engineering
organizations worldwide to proclaim the 4th March every year as the World Engineering Day for
Sustainable Development. This day was set aside to engage with governments, industries, nongovernmental
organizations and the public at large to address the need for engineering capacity
and the quality of engineers to offer solutions to most pressing problems affecting humankind
especially the achievement of the SDGs through partnerships, planet friendly policies and
prosperous people oriented projects. Engineers will deliver the aspirations of our Agenda 2063 –
“the Africa we want” and to meet the requirements of the 4th Industrial Revolution so as to leapfrog
and address the pressing needs of sustainable development of humanity and the planet.
Engineering makes a crucial contribution to the improving quality of life of citizens, and economic
prosperity of nations, across the world. Engineering has played a critical role in increasing the
health and quality of life, better water supplies, municipal sewer systems, wastewater treatment
plants, buildings, improved agriculture, transportation systems, food security and healthcare to
sustainable energy, water, and transport infrastructures. In African developing countries
engineering challenges are even more pronounced, often coupled with the largest engineering
skills shortages and skills gaps.
2. The Context
Engineering and other interventions are answers and enablers to deliver the FAEO Vision for
which is inspired by the AU AGENDA 2063 and the UN Agenda 2030 on SDGs for people, planet
and prosperity and the Strategies contained in the AU Continental Education Strategy for
Africa (CESA) 16-25/ Science, Technology & Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024.
Despite concerted efforts to foster c
Despite concerted efforts to foster critical infrastructure expansion and create an enabling
environment for safe, sustainable and resilient facilities, limited engineering and technical
expertise remain a core inhibiting factor in African development. This directly can undermine
industrial development and lead to economic stagnation (2017 Africa Sustainable Development
Report). Many studies including UNESCO’s “Engineering: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities
for Development” and the Royal Academy of Engineering’s “Engineers for Africa: Identifying
Engineering Capacity Needs in Sub-Saharan Africa”, reference the existing gap between National
Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies and implementation capacities.
Engineering is central to achieving all the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as it uses
science, technology and mathematics to develop practical solutions to providing food, water,
energy, safe environment, sustainable cities, natural disaster resilience and other areas which are
crucial to all facets of life. Engineering is key to the development of new technologies driving the
4th Industrial Revolution such as the confluence of robotics and artificial intelligence, Internet of
Everything, quantum computing, big data analytics and other disruptive technologies. Engineering
is at the heart of our modern world and will shape the future.
Engineering impact on sustainable economic development as it is needed to support the growth
and development of essential infrastructures such as buildings, roads, dams, water supply, and
We are inspired by President Kwame Nkrumah, first speech at the foundation
summit of the Organization of African Unity, Addis Ababa, 24 May 1963.
“We shall accumulate machinery and establish steel works, iron foundries and
factories; we shall link the various states of our Continent with communications; we
shall astound the world with our hydroelectric power; we shall drain marshes and
swamps, clear infested areas, feed the undernourished, and rid our people of parasites
and disease. It is within the possibility of science and technology “ENGINEERING” to
make even the Sahara bloom into a vast field with verdant vegetation for agricultural
and industrial developments”.
sanitation in both developed and developing countries. The World Engineering Day can be used
for inclusive access to engineering for women and girls, and encourage young people, especially
girls, to consider engineering. FAEO’s message to our young people and women is engineering
must be a career of choice, we say to you “be an engineer and create a better future for the world”
3. Benefits of the World Engineering Day
A World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development will see coordinated activities taking place
worldwide. WFEO, FAEO and other stakeholders in engineering crafted numerous outcomes and
the following actions:
a) Highlight the achievements of engineers and engineering to our modern world and
improve public understanding of how engineering and technology is central to
modern life, affecting the daily lives of every person on the planet and central to
b) Build worldwide educational capacity through activities targeted on engineering and
technology, to encourage more young people to consider engineering as a career as
it is vital that the brightest young minds be attracted to engineering to address the
pressing problems of climate change and sustainable development;
c) Address the issues of gender balance in engineering which continues to be a gender
segregated occupation while encouraging women and girls to consider the
opportunities that engineering provides to create a better world;
d) Build capacity in engineering education and strong institutions for ensuring the
standards of engineering education, with a focus in particular on developing countries
and emerging economies;
e) Engage with government and industry to address the need for engineering capacity
and the quality of engineers around the world and develop strategic frameworks and
engineering institutions to deliver professional development and training;
f) Celebrate the contributions of engineers across all continents and raise awareness
of their contributions including important women engineers, especially those that
have made also be introduced.
4. The Role of FAEO
The Objective of the Federation shall be to develop, in the spirit of African unity, direct relationship
between its several member organizations on a basis of mutual understanding, so that their
activities may be fostered and directed to the greater public good and, in particular:
• To establish appropriate standards of engineering education.
• To support the advancement of knowledge in critical areas required for development.
• To build engineering resource capacity in every country.
• To promote the development of standards of professional engineering practice appropriate
for the continent and share knowledge on best practice.
• To promote the adoption of appropriate regulatory framework in each country to ensure
that only qualified practitioners operate.
• To promote the adoption of high standards of ethical behaviour.
• To promote the advancement of engineering science and practice and their applications
for the benefit of mankind.
• To advance the common aims and objectives of its member organizations.
• To support the work of each member organization in its own territory.
• To provide a focal point for the expression of the professional engineering opinion of its
• To collaborate with other national and international organizations, as it may think fit, to
support and supplement their work.
FAEO thanks our Governments, UNESCO, WFEO through its President Prof. Gong Ke, and all
the FAEO National Members who supported this noble initiative. This is our day, please ensure
that the unsung engineering heroes and heroines are honoured and recognised throughout the
world and indeed in Africa.
If you want to go FAST, Go Alone, If you want to go FAR,
LETS Go Together!
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