In a significant address at the UNESCO night Africa Engineering week and 7th Africa Engineering conference in Pretoria, South Africa, Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, emphasized the critical role of women in engineering in bolstering Africa’s economic development.
Deputy Governor Salako-Oyedele stressed the transformative potential of women’s inclusion and empowerment in engineering, underlining its profound impact on Africa’s journey towards a more sustainable and equitable future.
She cited numerous studies highlighting that gender diversity in the workforce leads to enhanced productivity, innovation, and profitability.
Despite women constituting over 50 percent of the population and forming the majority of the workforce in many African countries, the number of women engineers remains alarmingly low, hovering around 10 percent across the continent.
The Engineering Council of South Africa’s research revealed that registered professional female engineers make up just 12 percent of the total, illustrating a significant gender gap.
In Nigeria, only about 4,500 of the 60,000 registered engineers are female, representing a mere 7.5 percent.
Engr. Salako-Oyedele called upon the engineering community to prioritize advocacy and awareness-raising efforts while striving for gender equality in the field.
She emphasized that celebrating the achievements of women engineers would not only inspire future generations but also further the cause of gender equality.
Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, South Africa’s Minister of Electricity, echoed these sentiments, recognizing the invaluable contributions of practicing women engineers across Africa.
He underscored the pivotal role that increased women’s inclusiveness in the engineering sector can play in shaping not only the economies of African countries but also the global economy.
Dr. Ramokgopa called upon governments, engineering stakeholders, and institutions of higher learning to implement policies that encourage young girls to pursue engineering careers and motivate female graduates to actively participate in the field.
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