UNESCO’s first global report on engineering (Engineer shortage a threat to development) published in 2010 affirms that more than ever, the world needs creative engineering solutions to face its biggest challenges, from poverty to climate change. Yet many countries are seeing a decline in the enrolment of young people, especially women, in engineering studies. The slump endangers future engineering capacity, particularly in developing countries where brain drain is an additional problem.
In the same report, Ms Irina Bokova said “An estimated 2.5 million new engineers and technicians are required in sub-saharan Africa to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of improved access to clean water and sanitation.
In more recent submission by the African Economic outlook, an estimated 350million people will join the labour market in Africa. Where are we going to find the jobs if we don’t innovate? One way for Africa to make a leap out of this problem is to encourage more interest in STEM because it leads to job opportunities and self reliance. The right place to start is with children!!!