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Engineers for Africa. Identifying engineering capacity needs in Sub-Saharan Africa. A summary report

Sufficient engineering capacity is essential to the economic and social development of any country. It is a basic requirement for the sustainable provision of infrastructure that enables better healthcare, access to education and the development of an attractive environment for foreign investment. It is also a key driver for innovation and growth. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), infrastructure development lags significantly behind other developing regions. This report identifies engineering capacity needs, in terms of the size and skills base of the work force, that are felt across SSA, and sets out potential approaches to meeting these needs that have been put forward by professional engineers and other engineering stakeholders from across the region. It is accompanied by three supporting documents: a literature review; an analysis of an electronic survey of 113 professional engineers and 29 decision-makers from 18 countries; and an analysis of a set of interviews with 15 engineering stakeholders with experience of leading projects in various countries within SSA. This summary begins by outlining the scale and nature of capacity needs. It then considers the various causes of low capacity in engineering sectors, followed by an indication of the impact that low capacity has on development. Finally, the paper presents a number of possible approaches to increasing engineering capacity in SSA.