African Technology Forum Book Drive, mid-1990s

African Technology Forum Book Drive
Courtesy MIT Museum

African Technology Forum volunteers sort through donations to the organization's book drive, mid-1990s.

The African Technology Forum (ATF) Book Drive held in the mid-1990s collected science and engineering textbooks, technical journals, and magazines at campus residence halls and at the ATF office in Walker Memorial (50-360). Over 100 boxes of books were donated by MIT students, professors, and departmental offices. Over 2,000 pounds of books were shipped to schools all over Africa. Funding to cover the cost of shipping the books for the first ATF Book Drive was provided by a grant from the Dean of Student Affairs Office at MIT and by private donations. 

Book-drive donees included:

  • National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe
  • Makarere University, Uganda
  • University of Ghana
  • Zamse Secondary Technical School, Ghana
  • Al-Afhad University, Sudan
  • Universitty of Nairobi, Kenya
  • M.L. Sultan Technikon and Eastern Cape Technikon, South Africa
  • University of Botswana
  • Maun Secondary School, Botswana
  • University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


African Technology Forum

In 1988, African MIT students Mawuli Tse '90, SM '92 (Ghana) and Daniel Karanja Gakio '88 (Kenya) founded the African Technology Forum (ATF), which provided practical information to corporations, individuals and institutions in the US, Africa and the rest of the world. Key staff included: Michael Kobina Owu '86; Muhonjia Khaminwa; John Ofori-Tenkorang '89, EE '93, ENG '93, SM '93, SCD '97 (Ghana); Vincent Yao Adzovie '90, SM '92 (Ghana); and Julia Goldrosen, WMBR world music director and host of its ''Africa Kabisa!" radio show. 

The ATF provided consulting services and networking opportunities for technical and business professionals involved in African development. The organization's newsletter--focused on developments in, and the impact of technology on, the African continent---eventually developed into an eponymous quarterly publication on science and technology in Africa. The ATF also coordinated the Equipment Exchange Program to supply institutions throughout Africa with much needed journals and equipment.

Does the [ATF], once so active 20 years ago, remain active to this day? The answer, unfortunately is “no”...[The ATF] served a key role in stimulating technological advancement in Africa during the early 1990’s. [By] 1992 ATF boasted a volunteer staff of about 23, contributors in 15 countries, and a readership of over 11,000. During the mid-1990’s ATF served mainly as a consulting platform, especially in nations like Ghana and Cape Verde...[The ATF's] quarterly publication aimed at providing an essential communication link between African engineers, scientists, and policy makers, and their counterparts in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Its goal was to provide a forum for discovering how technological advances could be adapted to promote the lives of the people of Africa, taking into account the social and cultural dimensions of technological change. 

oAfrica, 25 April 2011



Timeline: 1990s
Career: CommunityScienceTechnology
Object: Image
Collection: Africa(n), Integration and Differentiation 1969-1994, Rising Voices 1995-Present, STEM Education, Students