[[abstract]]The main objective of this paper is to promote the concept that, if one particular country in a developing region of the world, establishes an infrastructure to produce competent people at all levels, and in sufficient numbers, to meet its industry's needs, that model can then be used in the other developing countries of that region. The problem of very poor growth in science and technology in most of the countries in the Third World, continues to limit the abilities of those countries to fight for trade against the industrialized countries of the First World. The need for people to obtain skills to become competent to find employment either in the formal or informal sectors of a country's industries is also critical. Welding Technology in South Africa is an example where an infrastructure has been created, thus providing the facilities, services, training programmes and qualification and certification schemes necessary to allow it to compete against the First World countries. By working with the countries in the African region, the benefits are that this infrastructure can be introduced and utilized with minimal expenditure and effort, and with optimum returns in each of these countries to the benefit of the whole region. By working parallel to the promotion of growth in engineering and manufacturing industries, welding technology can uplift the quality of life of the people of the region. Also, working with International Funding Agencies, projects can be started to create the infrastructure in each country necessary to produce the competent people required. The Skills S.A. Foundation and the IYTO can also assist in a similar manner through the promotions of skills competitions throughout Africa.
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