Human Capacity Building and Gender

Secondary school girl students from Western Kenya gather at Kisumu Girls High School with their science and mathematics teachers to take part in the UNESCO Scientific Camp of Excellent ©Masakazu Shibata/UNESCO

Engineering capacity and competence building activities are critical to ensure an adequate supply of engineers to create innovative engineering and technology-based solutions that address global challenges and achieve sustainable development. Such activities are particularly important in Africa, where the per capita number of engineering professionals is lower than in other regions. Kenya currently continues to experience a shortage of engineers through declining enrolment of young people, especially women. Given this engineering deficit, UNESCO is prioritizing activities that promote engineering and career development for youth and girls. In this context, the UNESCO Engineering Initiative (UEI) in cooperation with public and private sectors partners established the Africa Engineering Week in September 2014. Since then, the day has been celebrated annually, aimed to increase the engineering capacity by demonstrating how youth, particularly girls, studying science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) can become part of the solution to reduce poverty rates, further sustainable development and respond to global challenges. 

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