Over the years, SAICE-PDP has been involved in many research projects including built environment skills research; investigating infrastructure and maintenance backlogs; and identifying bottlenecks in supply chain processes, among others. The most significant research has, however, been associated with engineering skills research. 

The Africa Prize

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. The Prize awards commercialisation support to African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges. These innovations show the importance of engineering in improving quality of life and economic development.

Since inception in 2014, an incredible range of innovative solutions have been entered. These range from remote or mobile solutions for detecting and treating many health conditions including heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, jaundice, pneumonia, malaria, monitoring pregnancy to many agricultural innovations including understanding the soil, producing fertilisers and more efficient hand-held farm equipment for sowing and harvesting; and drying, juicing, storage and waste processing techniques. Other innovations have included water purifying solutions for rural communities, solar powered solutions for pumping water, providing energy for cooking, heating etc. and many communication and networking facilities for tutoring, e-learning, locating and employing local skills and handling the transfer of funds and access to loans securely. Interesting transport options have included a bamboo bicycle, a 4×4 wheelchair and an electric tuk-tuk while water hyacinths and caterpillars have been harnessed to produce high protein food and a rock drill to help artisanal miners has also been developed!

For more details on Africa prize solutions and how to apply visit: https://www.raeng.org.uk/global/sustainable-development/africa-prize

Higher Education Partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa (HEP SSA)

The Higher Education Partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa programme was established by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2016, following the successful pilot scheme, Enriching Engineering Education Programme’.

By forming and strengthening relationships between academia and industry, the programme aims to ensure that the higher education system in sub-Saharan Africa produces engineers with the skills and knowledge required to meet the needs of industry, tackle local challenges, address the engineering skills shortage in sub-Saharan Africa, and to showcase engineering’s role in driving economic development in the region.

To maximise the impact of this collaboration, the programme is implemented through a ‘hub and spoke’ model. The hub universities are funded to undertake bilateral secondments with local industry partners, and in turn, share their experiences with a larger number of spoke universities through a series of knowledge sharing workshops, secondments, reports and other collaborative activities.

The programme is supported by the Anglo American Group Foundation and the UK Government through the Global Challenges Research Fund.

To find out more information about HEP SSA projects, both past and present, click on the interactive map: https://www.raeng.org.uk/global/sustainable-development/africa-grants/interactive-tool

Africa Catalyst

The aim of GCRF Africa Catalyst is to strengthen professional engineering bodies in sub-Saharan Africa so that they can effectively promote the profession, share best practice and increase local engineering capacity, to help drive development.

Robust engineering institutions play a significant role in building on and improving the landscape for sustainable and resilient infrastructure development to increase economic growth, reduce poverty, and effectively respond to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. They also play a key role in developing engineering capacity and addressing diversity and inclusivity.

The African Engineering Professions Portal, set up by SAICE-PDP and showcased below is one such programme that was rolled out under the Africa Catalyst.

To find out more about GCRF Africa Catalyst projects, both past and present, click on the interactive tool.