Federation of African Engineering resolve to support AfCFTA

Federation of African Engineering resolve to support AfCFTA
Ing. Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid and Engr. Martin Manuhwa (3rd right) presenting the FAEO Conference Declaration to the media at the Accra press conference

The Federation of African Engineering Organisation (FAEO), having come to the end of the 7th edition of the Africa Engineering Week and 5th Africa Engineering Conference in Accra on Friday, resolved to support implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to help boost free trade across the Africa continent.

In a declaration at the end of the five-day conference, FAEO noted that the role of Engineering is important to realisation of the AfCFTA’s objectives. Participants of the conference, mindful of the current effects of COVID-19 on the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063, were also concerned about the slow progress of African countries in achieving the SDGs.

In a 12-point declaration, the president of FAEO, Ing. Mrs. Carlien Bou-Chedid, and Chairman of the Conference, Eng. Martin Manuhwa – who is also the immediate past president of FAEO, jointly presented the conference declaration to the media in Accra.

The declaration said, drawing inspiration from deliberations and discussions of the conference, FAEO will take the necessary steps to institutionalise its relationship with the AfCFTA, AU and governments of all African countries.

“The first step is to establish an MoU with AfCFTA, actively engage the AfCFTA secretariat and Heads of member-states in the delivery of solutions to infrastructure required to ensure free trade across Africa,” the declaration said.

The African Engineers also resolved to lead in the harmonisation of standards and codes across Africa by engaging the relevant regional bodies; Innovate commercially in order to harness the natural resources of the Africa Continent; Establish an African Fulbright Programme to teach our own and create an African university exchange programme among lecturers and students; Promote ethical training in curriculums for engineering education; Mentor more students in second cycle institutions to pursue engineering through aggressive outreach activities; and Convince governments of member-states to increase funding toward research in Engineering.

The declaration further said FAEO will lead a training programme for intellectual property rights; Sign the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM); Lead in the development of Infrastructure; Establish an African Arbitration Centre and train world-class Arbitrators; as well as lead in promoting better collaboration between industry and academia.

On Women in Engineering, the participants resolved to encourage women to study and practice Engineering by creating infrastructure which will meet the needs of women. They also advocated for facilities in infrastructure to cater for women in Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). Promoting gender consideration during planning, design, implementation and post-implementation stages of all projects was also within the declaration. They also advocated for policies that enable women to access funding and promote policies which mandate the inclusivity of women in all infrastructure projects as well as expand access to digital infrastructure.

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