Engineering technology education in West African countries: How does it compare with the ET education in USA?

Stephen Fokuo, Sohail Anwar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Until the late 1950's, engineering/engineering technology education in West Africa was shaped after the trade policies of the colonial powers ruling the region at that time. During the late 1950's and early 1960's, most of the West African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Senegal and the Gambia gained independence or self-rule and began to restructure engineering education. Most of these countries initially continued following the public education and training policies formulated by the old colonial regime. However, the demands imposed by the globalization of trade and commerce forced them to redesign their education and training strategies to effectively meet their economic development needs. In the past, the engineering education in the West African countries was based on the needs of their agricultural sectors. Moreover, on one end of the occupational spectrum there was theory based engineering education and on the other end there was craftsmanship based vocational education. There was nothing in between. Engineering technology education was unknown or completely neglected. It was not until the 1990's when the importance of engineering technology education was recognized. This paper begins with a description of the characteristics of engineering technology education in the United States. Then, the paper describes the evolution of engineering/engineering technology education in West African Countries. The engineering technology education trends in these countries are compared with those in the United States. Also, recommendations are made as to how US universities and colleges through technology transfer and distance education can work out international partnerships with educational institutions in West African Countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2139-2143
Number of pages5
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999
Event1999 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Engineering Education to Serve the World - Cahrlotte, NC, United States
Duration: Jun 20 1999Jun 23 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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