The Norwegian support will provide monthly allowance to meet the cost of subsistence for 150 female engineers during their 3-year Structural Engineers Apprenticeship Programme (SEAP).
The Grant Agreement was signed in Dar es Salaam July 5th by the Norwegian Ambassador Ms. Hanne-Marie Kaarstad and the Chairman of Engineers Registration Board Eng. Professor Ninatubu Lema.
The goal of SEAP is to empower women engineers to confidently hold and manage professional responsibilities in government, industry and business, as well as become competitive and able to contribute to the development of the country.
The Chairman emphasised that a qualified workforce is essential for Tanzania to transform into an industrialised economy, and noted the critical time of the Norwegian support to female engineers in Tanzania.
The Engineers Registration Board (ERB) implements the SEAP programme on behalf of the Government of Tanzania, and has the mandate to ensure professional development of engineers for sustainable growth of the profession in Tanzania.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Minister of Works Eng. Edwin Ngonyani. He confirmed that the Government of Tanzania will continue to provide funds for the SEAP, but noted that the government funds have not been enough for all the trainees. The Deputy Minister emphasised the importance of inclusion of women in Tanzania’s industrialisation.
The Royal Norwegian Embassy has provided financial support to ERB to strengthen the capacity of female engineers and support their full registration as professional engineers since 2010. The first Grant Agreement, signed May 5th 2010, of NOK 13.9 million will be completed this year. The Norwegian support has been important to limit the dropouts during the trainee program, and has contributed to more than tripling the number of female engineers. In July 2016, there are 329 registered female engineers in Tanzania. As a comparison, a total of 96 female engineers were registered between 1976 and 2009.
Many of the trainees receiving Norwegian support have gotten relevant jobs and most have a job as engineers before finishing the programme. The women enter into positions in several sectors, which are currently male-dominated. It contributes to more gender equality and gender balance. They can also be positive role models for other women and contribute to more young women choosing to become an engineer.
Although great improvements have already been achieved, Norway sees the need for continued support to the female engineers of Tanzania to make sure the positive development continues.