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Ghana debut for international development toolkit

An ICE project designed to help young engineers working in the developing world made its international debut last month in Ghana.

The online toolkit is the first of its kind, and works as a quick reference for engineers working on projects in the developing world. It gathers together tailored information on policy planning, implementation and in-use phases of project delivery.

Conceived by former ICE President Paul Jowitt’s apprentices, over the past year the toolkit has been steadily gaining traction in the global engineering community, featuring at events in Nigeria, South Africa, Hong Kong, the US and Northern Ireland.

International launch in Ghana

The international launch in Ghana provided a platform for its roll-out into other countries in Africa. It has been organised, funded and delivered with support and sponsorship from local engineering companies and organisations.

However, the original idea for the two-day launch came from Ben Bampoh, one of Jowitt’s apprentices, who works for the Ghanaian Department of Urban Roads.

Highlighting that many newly qualified engineers have no experience of working with the challenges faced in developing countries, Jowitt said the toolkit had global importance. Issues such as population growth, climate change, urbanisation and extreme poverty are often difficult to comprehend in developed countries, he said, and the toolkit is designed to assist with these gaps in knowledge.

Civil engineers

“Civil engineers have a massively important role to play in the well-being of society globally by providing sustainable infrastructure to support our day to day needs.

“The toolkit aims to help equip the next generation of engineers with the skills to understand how they can work to the best effect and where their expertise will be needed most.”

Ultimate goal

He said his ultimate goal was for the toolkit to be used widely by engineers around the world as a best practice guide.

The launch in Ghana came as it was announced that the project has also received a grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious Public Engagement Scheme.

This is a UK engagement programme that will involve 12 events to companies, universities, schools and community groups throughout the UK.

High praise for toolkit

The toolkit has also had high praise from outside the engineering world. Oxfam Global Ambassador and actor Bill Nighy praised the initiative last year.

He said “Engineering is at the heart of most human endeavours, and to integrate it in this way to specifically address the problems of the developing world is admirable and to be encouraged. I salute this brilliant and original idea.”

  • The toolkit is downloadable at www.ice.org.uk/patoolkit

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