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.

This is supported by high-quality research focusing on expanding the evidence base for the importance of robust engineering institutions and the role they play in delivering sustainable growth, and mapping engineering capacity and diversity in the countries where grant funding is administered.


A cross-cutting objective for GCRF Africa Catalyst is diversity. It is a requirement for applicants who do not have a gender equality or diversity policy to include the development of such a policy in their project proposal and the Academy encourages diversity and inclusion to be considered in the project design. 


  • To create strong professional engineering bodies in the countries where grant funding is being administered 

A strong professional body is effective, self-sustainable, transparent and provides services to its members. It has good governance, leadership, financial management, policies and systems in place. The Academy is also looking to support professional engineering bodies that are working to meet international standards of engineering education and accreditation.


  • To identify how professional engineering bodies can best promote the profession and better understand the current engineering landscape in the benefitting countries

A research project is underway as part of the Programme that aims to map the current engineering landscape, explore which interventions have the greatest impact, and build on existing research to evidence the role robust professional engineering bodies can play in driving social and economic national development.

*For the purposes of the programme, the Academy consider the following 49 countries to be part of sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, eSwatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.