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Much as it has been said, the future of our engineering infrastructure development lies in the hands of young people. There is nowhere else other than the African Leadership Academy where this is more evident. Through a program dubbed the Summer Engineering Academy, the academy is collaborating Chevron Corporation to nurture a very young STEM focused African youths to take up courses in engineering in order to later contribute to the development of African engineering infrastructure. Chevron Corporation is an American multinational energy corporation headquartered in California and with operations in more than 180 countries. It is one of the successor companies of Standard Oil.
Chevron actively works to provide reliable, affordable, and ever-cleaner energy across the world. Chevron’s work spans various facets of the energy industry; from upstream exploration and production to midstream transportation, power, and trading to downstream manufacturing and retail. Being one of the ALA divisions that work directly with Chevron, AL for Infrastructure boasts of a partner than not only supports the Summer Engineering Academy but also offers job and internship opportunities to young leaders within the network as well as fund others to intern in other organizations.
The ALA SEA (African Leadership Academy Summer Engineering Academy) is sponsored by Chevron Corporation and is designed for highly motivated and talented 15–18-year-old high school students from across our continent who are interested in a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). This year’s SEA was especially momentous because it was in-person after the two previous events were online due to COVID19. The program participants had the opportunity to learn from a talented team of educators, professional engineers, and graduate students in engineering. This was an enriching experience as it allowed the participants to meet other like-minded young potentials from all over Africa.
The SEA curriculum was jam-packed and full of valuable experiences that allowed them to equally explore Johannesburg. They visited various monumental locations around the city, from the Cradle of Humankind to Gold Reef City. Besides the technical trainings, SEA also collaborated with AL for Infrastructure and the Early Career Success (ECS) team in hosting a Career Guidance Workshop. The workshop consisted of a Panel Discussion with ACN Community Members who answered some questions regarding their choice of a career in STEM and their experiences thus far. These panelists, who are a part of the AL for Infrastructure network, delivered a wealth of knowledge to the high school students.
Part of the panel was Gift Nyikayaramba (Zimbabwe) who is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, Rumbidzai Hove who was the first Zimbabwean to acquire a BSc in Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resource Management at EARTH University in Costa Rica, Wyckliffe Aluga (Kenya) a BSc Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and was facilitated by Frederico Hama (Angola) who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester. Coincidentally, Frederico is also part of the story behind the success of our partnership with Chevron as he proceeded to begin his professional career with the corporation where he now works as a Mechanical engineer. The following session was facilitated by Michelle Peters from the ECS team where she presented the RIASEC model to help the students identify which career path aligns with their traits.
Our SEA objectives were designed to align with Chevron’s leading performance values as well as ALA model of developing the next generation of African leaders. Chevron develops leaders and collaborates as one team to deliver industry-leading performance. Some of Chevron’s most remarkable projects include the Gorgon project which is one of the largest global natural gas projects primed to power the Asia-Pasic region; the Tengiz Expansion through which they have been operating one of the world’s deepest supergiant oil fields and supporting local communities in Kazakhstan; and the Angola LNG project which is a liquified gas plant – one of the largest energy projects on the continent of Africa.
Chevron has maintained its revolutionary presence for more than a century. Since its inception in 1876 when a group of explorers and merchants established the Pacific Coast Oil Co., the company has established a timeline of tremendous events that surround the energy industry. The collaboration between a corporation with such great, global impact, and the ALA SEA is one that nurtures the future of engineering in Africa. A future of forward-thinkers.