The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) recently held its inaugural conference at CMU-Africa where it welcomed leadership from member universities across the continent. The event was the first in-person meeting for Afretec since its founding, and network members had the opportunity to bond as a cohesive group and align their thinking on the direction of the collaborative partnership.
Afretec currently has seven member institutions: CMU-Africa, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, the American University in Cairo, University of Lagos, University of Nairobi, University of Rwanda, and University of Witwatersrand. The network is generously supported by the Mastercard Foundation and led by CMU-Africa. It aims to create a platform for technology-focused universities in Africa to drive inclusive digital growth by collaborating on teaching and learning, knowledge creation, and entrepreneurship activities within the area of engineering and technology.
The two-day conference had a packed agenda that included working group sessions, a board meeting, and a gala dinner where members signed a commemorative charter document. During the conference, member universities showcased their advancements in research, entrepreneurship support, and academic programs.
The objective of the conference was focused on the co-creation of Afretec, explains Tim Brown, CMU-Africa network coordinator. He emphasizes that the best ideas come from working together to develop solutions.“We learned a lot from each other, the network members had different aspects to offer and for others to learn from,” says Brown.
Afretec plans to hold the conference annually and each member university will have the opportunity to host the event. Following the conference, Afretec and its members will convert the ideas presented in the working sessions into an action plan.