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This faculty-led program offers students a chance to fully engage with sustainability in the built environment, primarily through assisting a local community project in need of infrastructure support.

Sustainable Engineering In The Built Environment

Faculty-LedFaculty-Led | STEM Tanzania


Tanzania has a rapidly expanding population which currently stands at over 50 million people. Arusha, the capital city and economic hub of the Arusha Region, is one of Tanzania’s most quickly burgeoning urban centers. The built environment in the city is not, however, developing at the same rate. Furthermore, many communities and community-led development projects do not have ease of access to the funding and resources necessary for the construction of safe buildings and other necessary infrastructure.

This faculty-led program offers students a chance to fully engage with sustainability in the built environment, primarily through assisting a local community project in need of infrastructure support. Working closely with local industry professionals, students from a variety of disciplines (Architecture, Engineering, or Construction Management, for example) can be involved in all of the stages of the construction process in the service of promoting the “triple bottom line” of sustainability – in essence, considering the environment, people, and the economy (Henn & Hoffman, Constructing Green, 2013:6).

Available projects cover a wide range of size and complexity and can be tailored to accommodate the availability and skill set of the student implementation team.

Why Tanzania?

This Sustainability in the Built Environment program is based in Arusha. The city sits in the shadow of Mount. Meru, on the edge of the eastern branch of the Great African Rift Valley and acts as a very important hub for the East African Community, the Tanzanian tourism industry. It is also a locale for the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

As previously mentioned, Arusha requires safe and sustainable infrastructure development in order for its communities to continue to thrive. Working in Arusha specifically will expose students to building practices in Tanzania, allow them to grapple with the importance of adapting building practices to the environmental and societal context as well as test their ability to respond sustainably to unique structural, social and environmental challenges as they arise.

Learning Outcomes

During this program, students will:

  • Demonstrate cultural self-awareness while interacting with local community project leaders
  • Develop global citizenship through participation in comprehensive social and environmental sustainability
  • Examine their strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs through daily journal-keeping/journaling
  • Demonstrate responsiveness to the social and cultural needs of the community
  • Apply general project management and creative problem-solving skills that will result in sustainable solutions

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

Program Contributors

Ellen Mndima

Ellen Mndima is the Senior Business Development Management at Anza; a business incubation and capacity-building firm tailor-made for entrepreneurs. She attained her Bachelor of Science in Civil and Irrigation Engineering from Arusha Technical College in 2012. Ellen has a passion for equipping local communities in Tanzania with the capacity for self-upliftment –

by way of motivating socially and environmentally sustainable entrepreneurship and providing local entrepreneurs opportunities and resources necessary for business growth and expansion. Ellen is also a member of the Corporate Financial Institute.

Chris Pilley

Chris Pilley lived a life of travel and adventure for many years using his carpentry trade on and off to finance such wanderings before settling in Africa. During his globetrotting/backpacking days he picked up a lot of great ideas and concepts related to tourism adventure enterprises. Chris was involved with the backpacker market and also worked with a volunteer organization that brought out international volunteers, mainly from the UK, periods to assist with small scale projects working with the Maasai of Esilalei and wildlife data collection for Africa Wildlife Foundation.

These projects have continued to grow and prosper through the development of the tented camp ‘Isoitok Camp Manyara’ located in the same area as the Maasai community of Esilalei. Here, Chris focuses on the projects that improve daily living standards without interfering with or affecting age old cultural beliefs. The projects are funded through private funding and through Isoitok Camp’s own village development fee charged to all guests that stay at this award-winning camp. Chris has great experience working with young people and coordinates groups whenever possible.

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.

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