Model for Effective and Affordable Technology Education in Africa

Model for Effective and Affordable Technology Education in Africa

Our mission at the Centre for Technology Innovation, is to develop a viable and scalable model for effective and affordable technology education in Africa. Nigeria and other African societies are advancing into the digital age. Our societies are littered with problems technological ideas and tools can resolve. Technology companies are looking for good engineers to hire and our universities are producing graduates ill equipped for the challenge. The problem here is not the lack of virile minds but the absence of effective opportunities and broader frames of reference. Emerging technology incubators are great spaces for innovation, but those who will innovate must have the basic skills to do so. Free online learning resources present a great opportunity, but most people need direction, community and some structure for effective learning. The CTI, currently located in Lagos, Nigeria, deploys open online learning resources in a curated community of learners, around centralised infrastructure, to train software engineers. The Centre prefers an interdisciplinary approach that combines learning in the liberal arts with core computer programing modules, rooted deeply in practice based learning. CTI aims to train engineers who can write good code, in addition to developing valuable critical thinking skills and an appreciation of the consequences of technological innovation in a developing world context.

Applied Learning

Our objective is to make our selected youths dependable problem solvers and 100% employable. There are no lectures and exams at CTI. Learning at the Centre is a consistent process of active engagement and practice. Evaluation is always ongoing. The effectiveness, contextual relevance and quality of tangible outputs that our learners produce are the primary measure of the learning outcome. This measure is determined through critiques from mentors, co-learners and users of a product.

The Learning Process

Learners collaborate with others in viewing sessions, daily seminars, writing projects and technical practice. Courses cover introductory and advanced Software Development, Philosophies of Technology and Society, African Literature and Technology and Public Culture. Learners can move at their own pace and are encouraged to advance to new or more complex problems, even if others will take more time to get there. Where they encounter problems that CTI doesn't have the resources to support or provide direction, we rely on our network of industry and faculty consultants and affiliates to provide support or guidance.

From Practice to Product

From Practice to Product

Our graduates create things. The success of our graduates is a direct result of our active emphasis on practice. The term "abstract" is common in our discussions. However, it appears more in relation to our encouragement of thinking through problems. Our learning strategy pursues an applied process that is grounded in practice. Our pilot students have built a total of four functioning applications within a year, some of which power dozens of transactions daily and employ several people. An example is shippyme.com, a web application that breaks the traditional barriers of state and borders for transnational trade and e-commerce for people in Nigeria. Another example is Nigerian Loan Calculator which provides Nigerians with an easy and accessible way of understanding the cost of loans from Nigerian banks (it can take weeks to get such data). Future practice projects include an application that projects artisans to people who need their services and an art and technology project that maps and visualises public perception of local governance, by indexing relevant blog and media posts in Nigeria. CTI started off with three learners. We graduated two of them who are now fully employed as software engineers. CTI believes the focus on practice and products is a viable model for making dozens more like them.

Crowdsourced, Diverse and Remote Faculty

Diverse and Remote Faculty: Crowdsourcing Supervision and Mentorship

Our vision is to encourage more versions of CTI in parts of Nigeria and other African countries. We recognise that it will not be economical or viable to have the best minds physically present to provide guidance to our learners in a sustainable and consistent way. Consequently, CTI is experimenting with the idea of "crowdsourcing" for faculty needs. CTI maintains some full and part-time faculty. However, it relies on the voluntary participation of talented academics and professionals from different locations around the world and diverse disciplines who subscribe to its volunteer faculty system. Their responsibilities range from facilitating seminars for individual courses, to supervising individual student projects for a few hours a week. We also encourage our best graduates to stay on as fellows to work on their projects while providing guidance for new learners. Such diversity sustains an active space for learning and exchange where there is always someone to call on to help our learners think through problems.

Support for Innovation, Research and Career Advancement

Support for Innovation, Research and Career Advancement

We don't like to see great ideas or talent go to waste. This is why we watch our students closely to make sure we recognise their individual strengths and manifestations of innovative thought. Consequently the CTI fellowship is designed to keep our brightest at the Centre to further their work. We offer our fellows financial support and facilities to reside at the centre for a year or more working on their projects and providing mentorship to learners. We may also extend invitations to external individuals who can add significant value to our program to participate in our fellowship. Graduates who are not retained in our fellowship are referred to technology firms in our network for employment. Typically, students spend the second six months of their training in internships at these companies. Additionally, CTI provides support for our learners to prepare for graduate school applications or job applications. We make sure every successful participant lands on his or her feet.

We are Commited to Education and Social Transformation


CTI is invested in the potential social and economic benefits of turning young smart unemployed youths into skilled engineers who have the relevant expertise to contribute to the economy and create potentially beneficial innovations. We are taking this vision one step at a time.

  • 0 Students learning

  • 45 Books, Other Resources & Open Courses

  • 3 Faculty

  • 5 Courses

  • 16 Graduates

Lagos, Nigeria

Comfort House, 13 Hughes Avenue, Off Herbert Macaulay Way, Alagomeji, Yaba.

Email: info@cti.ng

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Lagos, Nigeria
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Our Sponsoring Partners


CTI is a not for profit institution. We rely on the support of our sponsoring partners and affiliates to advance our mission. Support CTI today

  • Circuit Atlantic Inc
  • Shippyme