The U.S.-based non-profit African Institution of Technology is making progress in its efforts to establish an innovative university in Africa. It will have more consultative discussions with the National Universities Commission Nigeria which regulates university education in Nigeria. This project, named Addis, will offer a new dawn that will seed new prosperity in Africa by discovering mines of knowledge which is what Africa needs. (Based on our Harvard Business Review post, we are working on a new book that will explain 21 big ideas on how these mines of knowledge, not the one of gold, gas or crude oil, will be built in Africa). Our university will have a technopark with centers of innovation and discovery and the support of leading players across industries.
On February 1, 2013, we will unveil a funding platform where people can support this project around the Kickstarter.com model. We have rewards for you for donating $1, $5, etc and we are confident you will touch the future with Africa. One of these rewards is the new book, Mines of Knowedge.
What is the Addis?The strategic goal of the Addis, named after the headquarters of the African Union and capital of Ethiopia, is to concentrate African intellectual capital in order to stimulate the development of break-through ideas and technologies. This is anchored around a new non-profit university in Nigeria that has a Technology Park. In the course of implementation of the project, students and non-students companies that are engaged in innovative developments are discovered. After a selection process, some of these become project participants in the park. They are provided with all university assistance necessary for development and execution. Addis is structured around a University that houses this technopark and in turn expected to support five clusters.
The vision of this university is “to discover and make scholars, noble, bright and useful” – by providing a quality university education in Africa. The motivation is driven by the desire to train intellectually capable minds that will play leading roles in today’s global economy, and help position the region competitively through entrepreneurial innovation, technical excellence, and world-class management capabilities. As the knowledge economy reshapes the 21st century, the university will help anchor a sustainable knowledge base that will benefit not just the continent but MNCs that invest therein. We understand that no region can develop faster than its educational system and economic prosperity will always correlate with quality of education. Our goal is to assemble Africa’s brightest kids, educate them, and then empower them to invent the next future.
The university will have its physical campus in Abia State, Nigeria with two tele-classrooms in Silicon Valley and Boston. The goal is to tap into leading professors and entrepreneurs in U.S through this network. The university is a full conventional school with colleges in many fields.
The educational programme will develop leading-edge knowledge in the priority research and development areas of Addis (energy, health, agriculture, ICT and minerals), academic and innovative competencies (foresight, forecasting, thinking, projecting), entrepreneur competence, experience in team work on projecting and solving inter-disciplinary problems.
The main task of Technopark which is located in one section of the university is to provide assistance to innovative companies that are project participants arising from university reasearch or otherwise. This is the tool which – with the help of resources of the university, scientific and educational institutions, as well as international innovation centres – can be used by companies. This park is planned to accommodate design centers for MNCs as they locate to tap into opportunities made available by well-trained students. The long term vision of this Park is to develop five technology clusters within it in the region.
Within the Addis project, five clusters will be created, each one developing innovative projects. These are the ICT, energy, health, minerals and agriculture clusters.
- ICT Cluster develops strategic directions of information technologies – from search systems to cloud calculations.
- Health supports and develops innovations in the field of biomedical technologies and medicine along with best practices in public health
- Energy supports innovations and advanced technologies, aimed at the reduction of energy consumption by industrial and residential objects, as well as lower energy consumption by communal services and municipal infrastructure facilities. This will explore new energy technologies.
- Agriculture supports new agricultural technologies, animal and crop technologies along with best practices in food preservation and transportations
- Minerals cluster will look at better ways in harnessing and processing minerals from crude oil to precious metals