The instruments explained

A number of instruments were developed to gather the information required. These are available to download, modify and use as appropriate. They were developed for:

  • Tertiary Education Institutions
  • Engineering Organisations (employers)
  • Voluntary Associations and Registering Bodies
  • Manufacturing

Tertiary Education Institutions 

It should be noted that very few countries have developed central tertiary education information systems. South Africa is the only country in the region where data is centrally available from 2000. The higher education ministries in Angola and Mozambique have started compiling central data in recent years. In the balance of countries, it will be necessary to use the questionnaire and contact each institution – either the Registrar or the Engineering Dean. The tertiary education institutions offering relevant engineering qualifications per country are listed in the country reports.


The employer questionnaire proved very insightful and should be used when carrying out research to determine the engineering numbers, employer support for skills development, employer preferences in terms of tertiary institutions training graduates, and insights into shortages and possible solutions.

Voluntary Associations and Registering Bodies

Providing Voluntary Association and Registering Body data in the format suggested in the questionnaire proved to be very time consuming for each organisation. As these organisations must keep their data up to date to keep in touch with their members, their data gives a useful picture of the make-up of engineering skills. It proved more effective to ask professional bodies to export their entire database for analysis, excluding all personal information such as name, address, contact numbers, identity or passport number. Such exports yield rich data including age and gender profiles, the mix of disciplines, categories, nationalities, and in some cases, qualifications and the institutions and countries in which these were attained.

Specific surveys using SurveyMonkey

The manufacturing and other industry specific surveys were carried out using SurveyMonkey. It should be noted that it is not practical to use online surveys in large parts of Africa, due to connectivity challenges, and particularly when large sets of statistics are required, as completing such forms is time consuming, and systems generally time out before completing each section of such forms. SurveyMonkey however proved useful for qualitative analysis and perception surveys.