Special Session A

Engineering Design Capacity for Innovation and Development in Africa

Recent times have witnessed innovation in Africa getting serious traction leading to contemplations that Africa may be through with its catching-up role soon and may join the band of cutting-edge innovator nations and regions. There are, however, numerous challenges Africa has to overcome before its graduation to this band. Chief among these is the challenge of raising engineering design capacity. Recognized as the essence of engineering and core component of the innovation capacity building process, engineering design is a crucial driver of economic development in any nation - developed and developing alike.

This special session on engineering design capacity building brings together world renowned scholars of innovation studies to reflect on the challenges of developing engineering design capacity in Africa and the opportunities that are afforded by the technologisation of the design process. Three key issues will be addressed:
  1. The changing environment (including the rise of automated and computerized manufacturing) in which engineers Work and the impact on innovation capacity
  2. Pros and cons of now mainstream technologies such as Computer Aided Design (CAD), rapid prototyping and 3D printing for innovative engineering and design
  3. The implications of these changes for engineering education curriculum
In so doing the panelists will identify the factors, policies and institutions that are conductive to promote engineering design capacity building for innovation and development in Africa.

Dr. Haile Michael T. Demissie, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

Prof. Martin Bell, SPRU, Sussex University, UK: Creating and accumulating design and Engineering capabilities in African industrialisation: some questions.
Prof. Abdelkader Djeflat, University of Lille, France: Progress and Regression of the Engineering & Design Function in Africa: What has not worked?
Dr. Abiodun Egbetokun, Tshwane University of Technology: Why Africa's Growth requires engineering design capacity and how to develop it.
Dr. Haile Michael T. Demissie, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa and African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Kenya: The Technologisation of Engineering Design and the Implications for Engineering Education in Africa.

Dr. Haile Michael T. Demissie, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa