CDIO History

The CDIO Institute For Africa is a postdoctoral major research output of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-based CDIO International Collaboration which was designed to become a UNESCO science advancement vehicle. The Swedish Chalmers and Linkoping Universities provided the postdoctoral research grant and position. In September 2003, delegates at the 1st UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education (UICEE) North African Seminar on Engineering and Technology Education, recommended to the UICEE that the CDIO initiative be adopted as a common engineering education vision for Africa.

Founders of the CDIO Institute UNESCO International Center for Engineering Education at the first North African Conference are:
Prof. A. Hossam(Egypt), Dr. Z. Mbanguta(South Africa), Prof. K. Allia(Algeria), Dr. F. Mbuze(Rwanda) and Prof. A. Jadi(Libya).

The Institute was founded in 2004 after an endorsement by the South African government that stated “since the proposal is for a UNESCO CDIO project for Africa, it is forwarded to the South African National Commission for UNESCO in line with UNESCO procedures. The National Commission will solicit support for it from the other African National Commissions with the hope of finally getting support from UNESCO.”

At the recent Meeting of UNESCO World Regional Chairs/Heads of Science held in Berlin on 28 January-02 February 2006, the CDIO was presented with an aim of lobbying for the prioritization of engineering sciences at the 34th UNESCO General Conference in Paris in 2007. This is the agenda the Institute is pushing for the globe.

Its research rationale was informed by the UNESCO (1998) statement that the second half of the last century would go down in the history of higher education as the period which saw the gap between the developed and developing countries, with specific reference to the least developed countries, widening with respect to access and resources in higher learning and research. The statement was immediately followed by a World Bank (1998) advice to the developing countries that they should institute development policies that would narrow this gap.