Examples of such efforts include the role of telecoms ministries in creation of new technology universities in Egypt, Ghana and Kenya.
Similarly, ongoing infrastructure corridors such as the one connecting Kenya to South Sudan and Ethiopia provide a foundation.
At face value, Africa’s engineering challenges are daunting.
Leading economies such as South Africa and Nigeria suffer from critical shortages that are worsened by international skill migration.
Building such capacity rapidly is important for three key reasons.
First, Africa needs a large pool of appropriately trained engineers to help with the design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure.
Second, specific measures need to be adopted to expand engineering training.
First, African countries need to demonstrate the critical role that infrastructure plays in entrepreneurship and development.
What is important is to clarify the lines of accountability and design strategies that foster better cooperation with civilian agencies.
Finally, these measures will require presidential champions.
Some of the work can be done with the help of foreign engineers.
However, routine maintenance and additional construction will require significant and timely creation of local capacity.