CodeBus Africa is led by Aalto Global Impact (AGI), which promotes and facilitates Aalto University’s research and educational programs for societal impact globally. AGI brings together various Aalto University programs, courses and research groups to advance global sustainability. In essence, working together are students from Aalto University schools of Business, Arts, Engineering, and Science, post-doctoral researchers, professors and various innovation stakeholders, like end-user communities, public sectors, companies, organizations and hubs. Cross-disciplinary teams of experts and extensive stakeholder networks play an important role, because convergent research and dynamic skills and viewpoints are vital in solving the complex challenges the world is facing.
AGI facilitates projects that take place in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Aalto entities, together with local stakeholders, tackle societal challenges co-creatively and seek to provide long-term solutions to them. AGI is currently involved in projects in the fields of frugal and sustainable innovations, inclusive businesses, renewable energy, water and sanitation, ICT and digitalization as well as architecture and design.
AGI’s initiatives tackling global challenges also foster opportunities for in-depth learning in real-life environments. An example of a fresh education initiative is Strengthening Problem-Based Education in East African Universities (PBL East Africa), which pilots challenge-driven education in Eastern Africa and strives to solve real-world issues. It is a collaboration between four universities: Dar es Salaam University in Tanzania, Makerere University in Uganda, Nairobi University in Kenya and Aalto University in Finland. The partner universities identify local challenges and hold ownership of the project at the local level, while Aalto Global Impact is responsible for overall project management.
Aalto Global Impact is pleased to be the coordinator of CodeBus Africa for several reasons. Firstly, it has potential to deliver great societal impact. Technology is key in building the groundbreaking innovations a more sustainable future calls for. Further, in an increasingly technology-centered world, encouraging youth to discover and make use of technology in their own lives will not only benefit themselves by broadening their opportunities, but will also benefit their communities and the world. In addition, CodeBus builds partnerships with hubs, entrepreneurs and universities in countries that AGI has worked in. AGI has had activities in all the countries part of CodeBus Africa’s tour, aside from Ghana and Nigeria. Long-standing global partnership networks allow for new project opportunities, peer-learning and sharing best practices, which in turn make room for improvement and progress. Close cooperation with local actors also supports AGI’s key objective of supporting global entrepreneurship and responsible leadership.
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