Sufficient engineering capacity is essential to the economic and social development of any country. To advance engineering’s contribution in creating a safer, healthier, more prosperous African continent, the Royal Academy of Engineering launched two linked programmes dedicated to increasing local engineering capacity and driving economic development:

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

This 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 and tackle local challenges. It also aims to address the engineering skills shortage, and showcase engineering’s role in driving economic development in the region.

Under the HEP SSA programme, university teachers undertake secondments with industry partners so their students can benefit from engineering courses updated with market standards. Students also acquire experience through work placements, increasing their chances of gaining employment.

The HEP SSA programme follows a successful pilot scheme which ran from 2013-2015: Enriching Engineering Education Programme.


GCRF Africa Catalyst 

This programme aims to strengthen professional engineering bodies in sub-Saharan Africa so that they can effectively promote the profession, share best practice and strengthen local engineering capacity, to help drive development.

Engineering institutions are crucial in ensuring that infrastructural and development needs are prioritized on the national agenda. They also register new engineering graduates, deliver training and disseminate information relevant to the profession. Finally, engineering institutions are the voice showing how industries investing in local development can make a difference in the country's progress towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Grants available through these programmes range from £30,000 to £300,000, thanks to the support of the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund and the AngloAmerican Group Foundation.