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Global Technology Innovation

Faculty-LedFaculty-Led | STEM Kenya

Overview

This program is designed to engage students with the central aspects of social entrepreneurship and its relation to technology and technological innovation within Kenya’s socio-economic context. It will provide students with the necessary knowledge, technical skills and experience to tackle particular micro-level challenges that result from global pressures.  This global technology innovation program will give students the opportunity to meet local industry pioneers, visit various trailblazing organizations such as Gearbox, an innovation and workshop space that supports local makers; iHub, a tech garage built for technology entrepreneurs; BRCK, an organization that works to make technology more accessible especially in the field of education; and Nairobi Design Thinking School, an institution for learning-by-doing for user-centered innovators. Students will be able to participate in service-learning opportunities in partnership with the abovementioned organizations.

Why Nairobi?

This global innovation technology program is based in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi; the largest city in the country and Africa’s fifth largest city. Although a majority of its population live in poverty, Nairobi makes a contribution of roughly 20% to Kenya’s overall GDP. It is an economic hub in East Africa with commerce and technology being some of the driving sectors. This makes Nairobi an opportune location to examine the emergence of technological innovation, its advantages and disadvantages and the ways in which local innovators and social entrepreneurs are rising to meet some of the challenges and socio-economic issues with which Kenya is afflicted.

Learning Outcomes

During this program, students will:

  • Develop and apply key cross-cultural communication and engagement skills
  • Critically evaluate some of the global pressures with which Kenya is faced and the sustainability of the technological responses from local innovators in comparison to more westernized responses
  • Reflect on their individual growth and transformation by way of daily journal-keeping and reflection sessions
  • Apply practical and technical skills to various socio-economically specific contexts
  • Apply intercultural communication and negotiation skills in engagements with local industry leaders

Note: Specific learning outcomes and activities can be constructed in collaboration with EDU Africa’s dedicated curriculum development team.

Contributors

Dr Tonny Omwansa

Dr Tonny Omwansa

Dr Tonny K. Omwansa is a lecturer in the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Nairobi; he also offers his services as a facilitator and/or mentor at Nairobi Design Thinking School. He is the co-author of Money, Real Quick: Kenya’s Disruptive Mobile Money Innovation, a study on the impact and projection of mobile money in Kenya and across the world. He is also the founder of Nairobi Design Thinking School and Nairobi Innovations Week.

He is a formidable expert on marketable design and innovation in the Kenyan context.

Erik Hersman

Erik Hersman

Erik is an entrepreneur and technologist who is committed to advancing the use of technology in Africa. He grew up in Kenya and Sudan and is one of the founding organizers of Maker Faire Africa, an annual event that showcases inventors around Africa. He is the CEO of BRCK and founded iHub in 2010, an innovation hub for the technology community in Nairobi which brings together “entrepreneurs, hackers, designers and the investment community."

Erik is also a co-founder of Ushahidi, a free and open-source software for crowdsourcing information.

Customize Your Program

Our friendly and experienced program consultants will work closely with you to develop your custom faculty-led program from conceptualization to execution. We believe every journey to Africa gives students the opportunity to learn and transform and we pride ourselves in our ability to create unique, sustainable and truly African transformative learning journeys.


Featured Experiences

Kiambethu Tea Farm

Touring the Kiambethu Tea Farm gives insight into the colonial history and economics of Kenya, as well as the process undergone to transform the leaves of a tea bush into one of the most well known beverages of all time. The tour includes a walk through indigenous forests rich with medicinal trees, as well as a delicious colonial luncheon on the lawn.

River Rafting Rapids Camp

River Tana is the perfect place for white river rafting, with rapids ranging from grades three to five. It is also the only place in for white river rafting in Kenya. Upstream and downstream currents, including waterfalls, provide different technicalities that challenge beginners as well as more experienced rafters. Rafting River Tana is a worthy adrenaline rush!

Big Cat Monitoring

Incredible wildlife is one of Africa’s most appealing icons, and is desperately in need of protection through conservation and educational projects. Many conservation efforts give rise to amazing volunteering programs, such as the opportunity to research and monitor big cats. Taking part in this project gives students a chance to deeply experience and engage with some of Africa’s most powerful and breathtaking wildlife.

Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens

Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens is a vibrant gateway into the world of pre-colonial climate diversity. Rising out of misty, rolling hills of emerald-green tea, these gardens stand as a testament to the power of environmental restoration and protection. The project began in the year 2000 and includes an arboretum of rare tree species that are critically endangered across the continent. 


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