It is an exciting time in the world to be an engineer. In recent decades, the engineering workforce has helped make substantial advances in communications, health, defence, infrastructure and manufacturing (Blue et al., 2005), and the time between the emergence of new technologies and their implementation has steadily declined (Kurzweil 2001).
Opportunities and challenges continue to require engineers to literally invent the future by developing breakthrough technologies that solve global problems and enhance the quality of life.
To be prepared to enter the workforce and thrive in this everchanging global economy, engineers need to be able to collaborate effectively as leaders, in teams, and with their peers. In addition to their technical and analytical expertise, they need to be flexible, resilient, creative, empathetic and have the ability to recognize and seize opportunities (NAE 2004; Sheppard et al. 2008). All these skills can and should be taught to engineers as part of their formal education. It is thus the responsibility of engineering educators to instil these qualities in students to enable them to be more innovative and entrepreneurial.
Entrepreneurship education teaches engineering students in all disciplines the knowledge, tools, and attitudes that are required to identify opportunities and bring them to life by providing solutions. Students who take part in entrepreneurship programs as undergraduates gain insights not available from traditional engineering education, such as understanding and designing for end users(“empathy”), working in and managing interdisciplinary teams, communicating effectively, thinking critically, understanding business basics, and solving open-ended problems (ABET 1995; NAE 2004)
One astounding gentleman in this field of engineering is Mr. Jorge Appiah a Technopreneur and Africa Tech – policy Expert with a background in Electrical/ Electronic Engineering (BSc) Business Administration (MBA) and Renewable energy (MSc). He is the CEO/Cofounder of Solar Taxi Ghana which is championing affordable clean transportation to facilitate the free movement of Africans through the local assembling and manufacturing of Solar vehicles. Solar Taxi is a scaled-up project from the Mastercard Foundation innovation grant and working to scale green transportation for green jobs in Africa over the next 10 years. In an interview with African Leadership Magazine’s Janet Quainoo, we get details about his tech journey and the way forward in the global tech space.
Tell us about your tech journey? How did it start?
I was always enthusiastic about technology. Growing up in a remote area without some basic social amenities that people often take for granted especially electricity, it led me to venture into engineering while growing up. I was very curious and had the desire to solve the problem in my community. I had the opportunity to attend senior high school at Pope Johns senior high in the Eastern Region and read science. Fast forward I furthered my education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and read engineering. It was the best foot forward. The passion to go back to my community and find solutions to some of the problems led me to venture into engineering and basically find solutions to the problems we faced in our community and provide electricity for my grandma.
Click HERE TO ACCESS THE FULL INTERVIEW on pages 41 – 43 of the February 2022 edition of the African Leadership Magazine.