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ASC Event. STEM V: Innovation and Appropriate Technology in Africa

A conference intended, in part, as a memorial and tribute to Dr. Moses Kizza Musaazi, late of Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, a serial inventor and master of the “Appropriate Technology” approach that serves as the central conference theme.
Sunday, October 20, 2019
9:00-11:00 AM
1010 Weiser Hall Weiser Hall Map
“Appropriate Technology” refers here to efforts of scientists and engineers to help people on the Continent provide products and services for themselves from locally sourced and led efforts, as an alternative to “Global North” and other foreign suppliers whose products generally involve significant overhead in the international market. Appropriate technology is based on sound scientific and engineering fundamentals, and usually involves rethinking technical problems to come up with alternatives to the standard solutions. The emphasis is on close proximity of the engineer/scientist to the user population and a resulting intimate understanding of what their technical problems are. It is also based on a philosophy of creativity and “less can be more”, where designing solutions with, say, severe materials sourcing or distribution constraints, can be more challenging, but the results more transformative for the user population and rewarding for the engineer/scientist.

Dr. Musaazi has been a source of inspiration to STEM-Africa and African Studies Center since before even our founding ten years ago. He has been a long term collaborator on experiences for U-M students, especially undergraduates, who participated in joint appropriate technology projects with his team. Dr. Musaazi was driven by a concern to empower communities, to unlock their creative potential, circumventing systemic hurdles to such potential from the global marketplace or inequitable local mores. He was particularly sensitive to the problems of young women in developing societies whose communities’ traditions may not have adequately valued their advancement or their potential contributions to their societies.

The conference brings together some of the best practitioners from the continent and their collaborators at U-M to assess the current state of appropriate technology approaches, from the engineering/ scientific perspective, but also in terms of local innovation and entrepreneurship viewed as vital to the effective distribution of creative solutions to on the ground problems and empowerment of the user communities, and especially of women.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to us at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange. Contact:
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Conference / Symposium
Tags: AEM Featured, Africa, African Studies Center, conference, design, innovation, technology
Source: Happening @ Michigan from African Studies Center, International Institute
Upcoming Dates:
Sunday, October 20, 2019 9:00-11:00 AM  (Last)

International Institute Programming

The International Institute’s centers sponsor numerous conferences, lectures, exhibits, and cultural performances throughout the year. These events are designed to educate the university community and the public about global issues and inspire discussion and dialogue. 

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