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Engineering for Development Program

Engineering for Development Program

Ashesi University and ETH Zurich partners with Nestle and other Swiss Companies to create “Engineers from Africa for Africa” – a new masters program in sub Saharan Africa.

The “ETH Masters in Africa – Engineering for Development” is a new masters program to be launched by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), one of the world’s leading universities in partnership with Nestle, ABB, Barry Callebaut, LafargeHolcim and Buhler. The curriculum for this unique 3-year program will be developed in close collaboration with Ashesi University in Ghana. Lecturers from ETH Zurich will work closely with professors from Ashesi University as well as with industrial partners. The educational content will be based on both existing ETH Zurich courses and current needs of industry sector in sub-Saharan Africa to teach students from Ghana.

The essence of this partnership is these corporations helping young people get the necessary skills to thrive in the world of work and reducing the youth employment plague been confronted by governments through access to education as half of the global population is under 30 years old with almost half of this group in sub-Saharan Africa.

 “Nestlé is proud to be playing a part in helping ETH Zurich reach a wider audience. We are taking the best of Swiss engineering training and development, and through the good efforts of ETH and our partners, we are widening access to this expertise. Today, with all the uncertainty in the world, worries about economic pressures, we owe it to the younger generation to support them.” said Christian Schmid, Nestlé’s Head of Technical, Zone Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa (AOA).

The ETH Masters in Africa – Engineering for Development Program will be accessible to five cohorts of students, starting in 2021 with each student getting a scholarship. This will be funded by the industrial partners and administered by ETH Zurich in collaboration with Ashesi University, for the three years of study. 

The CEO of Nestlé Central and West Africa Region, Mauricio Alarcón, said, “Through this partnership with leading Swiss and Ghanaian universities, our ambition is to ensure that African graduates possess the right skills to help them build a better future.” 

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Fast-tracking the conversion from education to employment is a new model for cooperation between universities and enterprises which will hopefully be widely spread to empower African youth.  ETH Rector Sarah Springman affirmed: “We want this master’s to have a real impact on sustainable development. We’re drawing here on the different skills and perspectives of the project parties – ETH, Ashesi and partners from the industry – as we all want to learn from each other to build a better and more integrated educational offering that can flourish independently in the future”. 


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