ROSA commemorates World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development

To commemorate this year’s World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa convened a webinar which attracted participants from the academia, industry and civil society on 4th March 2021. The webinar increased awareness of engineering, its impact on modern life and crucial role in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals as well as national and regional development agendas. It also provided a platform for presentation of the preliminary findings from the African component of the World Engineering Report.

Speaking during the webinar, UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Prof. Hubert Gijzen said science and engineering are critical in transforming the world.

Science and Engineering are central to the successful transformation of our World as envisaged in the Agendas 2030 and 2063. That is why UNESCO with the support of all its Member States and more than 80 engineering organizations worldwide, decided to proclaim the 4th of March every year as the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development.
Prof. Hubert Gijzen

He called for investments in universities where most engineers are trained to make a difference.

We need to invest in our universities because this is where our engineers are equipped with the right skills; we need to address the gender gap of untapped human resources in STEM to encourage women and girls to take up science and engineering careers.
Prof. Hubert Gijzen

President of the Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO), Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedi, pointed out the need for more engineers for Africa to achieve the desired goals set-forth in the AU Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want. She called for the active involvement of a sufficient, inclusive and diverse competent base of relevant engineering workforce and industries for Africa, that engage in safe, ethical and sustainable practice.

Speaking on the recommendations from the World Science Report, Director in the UNESCO Division of Science Policy and Capacity-Building, Dr. Peggy Oti-Boateng said there is need to engage young engineers as well as student organisations in the design of courses, learning spaces and curricula using real-world applications in formal and informal spaces, including multiple pathways for students to experience realistic engineering work. She called on governments and development partners to invest in and fund programmes engaging vulnerable young engineers and provide incentives for participating organisations. 

This year's celebration of the World Engineering Day coincided with the launch of a new global report on Engineering entitled "Engineering for Sustainable Development: Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals". The Report’s five chapters analyse successively how engineering is essential to sustainability, why it should become more diverse and inclusive, which are the key innovations that will make a difference in delivering the SDGs, what engineering primary and life-long education is needed to achieve those objectives, and which are the defining engineering trends in the world’s regions.