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Call for papers - International Conference and Exhibition on 3D Printing for Sustainable Manufacturing in Africa, May 26th-27th, 2016


Organized by: Kenyatta University and African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)

Download > Conference programme

Powered by maker community innovation, 3D printing technology is rapidly taking off and is set to unleash a revolution in global manufacturing. Seen as ‘the most disruptive technology,’ 3D printing, also known as Additive Manufacturing, is already transforming the way that products are being designed and manufactured. The technology was endorsed by President Barack Obama as the technology ‘that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.’ The Financial Times considers its potential to be larger than the internet while the Economist calls it the ‘Third Industrial Revolution’.

A 3D printer produces a three dimensional physical object directly from a virtual model of the product that is digitally designed on a computer. In principle, everything is 3D printable and, hence, 3D printing spans across all sectors of economic and social life. Some of the products that have already been 3D printed include basic consumer goods, musical instruments, medical devices, airplane parts, and advances are being made in printing spare human organs using human tissue and biodegradable plastic.

The uptake of 3D Printing technology in Africa within the manufacturing sector has been slow. While there have been several small-scale 3D printing ventures mainly outside of the manufacturing sector, they have not been coordinated or scaled-up to an industrial size. ‘[N]one has yet made the fateful step from idea and prototype to regular production and start-up phase’, says an observer of the technology in Africa. Furthermore, the infant African 3D Printing community is bogged in the ‘hobbyist culture’, and is too timid to enter the challenge of addressing big societal problems.

As the global manufacturing sector transitions towards 3D printing, African governments and the private sector must start making investments in 3D Printing for manufacturing to ensure they are not left behind. Furthermore, early adoption of 3D printing technology, would enable African governments to drive forward innovative and sustainable development. For this to occur, governments need to create an enabling policy environment with the necessary regulatory frameworks, and the private sector needs to recognize the potential economic value and begin making investments particularly in the skills and the human capital development.

The conference, ‘3D Printing Technology for Sustainable Manufacturing in Africa’, will bring together 150 participants drawn from government, the private sector, international development organisations, academia, and civil society to explore and share ideas on the opportunities and challenges that 3D printing brings to the African manufacturing sector. The conference aims to examine the state of 3D printing as a technology in Africa, and the economic and innovative potential that it can bring for the socio-economic transformation of the continent. The conference will allow for an exchange of knowledge, skills, experience, and best-practices related to the revolutionary new technology. It will highlight the roles for various stakeholders, and the policy gaps that must be addressed in order to harness 3D printing technology across the continent.

Conference Overview:

Kenyatta University (KU) and the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) are co-organizing the International Conference and Exhibition on ‘3D Printing for Sustainable Manufacturing in Africa’ to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, May 26th-27th, 2016. The event partners include the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI).

The two - day (May 26th-27th) conference will have plenary sessions with keynote speakers, thematic parallel session on specific scientific and technical topics, and a tour of the Chandaria Business Innovation Centre. In addition to the conventional conference proceedings, there will be a poster session and an exhibition area featuring 3D printing firms, research institutes and manufacturers seeking to integrate 3D printing technology into their workflow. The conference will be held on the Kenyatta University Campus at the Kenyatta University Conference Centre. The proceedings from the conference will be published by the organizers. 

Conference Themes:

  • Frontiers of 3D printing: printers, processes, materials, and 3D production systems;
  • Engineering design, prototype and product development, 3D scanning;
  • Material science for 3D printing;
  • Intellectual property (IP), product liability, and quality assurance standardisation
  • Certification, training, and education;
  • The business and economics of 3D Printing: re-configuring value chains, analysing emerging business models, additive manufacturing, and the transition from mass production to mass customisation;
  • Africa’s latecomer advantages in additive manufacturing;
  • Environmental aspects, impacts, and sustainability;
  • Policy Formulation: industrial policy, certification, enabling environment, global competitiveness, needs, and barriers; and,
  • Health and safety for 3D manufacturing.

Call for Papers

The conference organising committee is now accepting extended abstracts for paper presentations. Participants are invited to submit abstracts relevant to the thematic areas of the conference, listed below. Abstracts should be up to a maximum of 300 words, excluding the title, names of author(s), institutional affiliation, contact information (email and telephone), and up to 5 key words. Selected papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume or a special issue of an established peer-reviewed journal.
Submissions should be made by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 24 March, 2016. Those selected will then be promptly contacted, and final papers must be submitted by 15 May, 2016. Click here to download the call for papers

Guest of Honour: The Honourable Mr. Adan Mohammed, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Government of Kenya

Invited Speakers:

Please note this list is subject to change due to the availability of speakers:

  • Prof. Bitange Ndemo, Associate Professor, University of Nairobi, Senior Advisor to the UN on global digitization of payments and former Permanent Secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication;
  • Prof Henry Thairu, Chairperson, Commission for University Education (CUE) and Director, Consultancy Services, Kenyatta University
  • Dr. Cosmas Ochieng, Executive Director, the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS);
  • Prof. Berhanu Abegaz, Executive Director, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS);
  • Mr. Emmanuel Kalenzi, UNIDO Representative for Kenya, Eritrea and South Sudan;
  • Dr. Kasirim Nwuke, Chief, New Technologies & Innovation, Special Initiatives Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA);
  • Dr. Carmelo De Maria, Chemical and Materials Engineering Research Centre E. Piaggio, University of Pisa;
  • Prof. Martin Mwangi Thuo, Iowa State University, Gammalogix, and Kenyatta University Foundation.
  • Eng. Martin Nzomo, Dean, School of Engineering, Kenyatta University
  • Prof. Pete Collins, College of Engineering, Iowa State University
  • Prof Richard LeSar, Engineering Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University
  • Prof Hans J Hoyer, Secretary General, IFEES- International Federation of Engineering Education Societies; Executive Secretary, GEDC  Global Engineering Deans Council,  Resident Scholar in Global Engineering, Marquette University, Opus College of Engineering, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
  • Prof Samuel B. Mukasa, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of New Hampshire 

Sponsorship information

The co-organizers of the conference are currently looking for financial sponsors to ensure the successful holding of the first International Conference and Exhibition in Africa with the theme ‘3D Printing for Sustainable Manufacturing in Africa’. By sponsoring the conference and exhibition, your organisation will join the leaders and early-stage supportes of this exciting new technology during the conference. Drawing together a unique and distinguished group of stakeholders, sponsors will have a chance to reach the key players in the emerging field of 3D printing in Africa.
Below are the levels of sponsorship available:
Keynote Sponsor: $10, 000

  • Sponsor the conference dinner and give opening remarks at the dinner;
  • 10 tickets to the dinner;
  • Recognition during the opening plenary;
  • 5 complimentary passes to the opening plenary;
  • Exhibition space during the main conference for the entirety of the conference;
  • Logo on the conference program and other marketing materials; and,
  • Ability to put branding materials in delegate bags.

Gold Sponsor: $ 5,000

  • Sponsor one luncheon during the conference and give opening remarks at the luncheon;
  • 6 complimentary guest passes to the luncheon;
  • Recognition during the opening plenary;
  • 4 complimentary guest passes to the opening plenary;
  • Exhibition space during the main conference for the entirety of the conference; and,
  • Logo on conference program and other marketing materials.

Silver Sponsor: $2,500

  • Sponsor one tea break during the conference, with the ability to display marketing materials during the tea break;
  • 5 complimentary passes to the tea break;
  • Recognition during the opening plenary;
  • 3 complimentary guest passes to the opening plenary;
  • Exhibition space during the main conference for the entirety of the conference; and,
  • Logo on conference program and other marketing materials

Exhibition information:

Organizations can also choose to rent an exhibition booth for the duration of the 2-day conference. The exhibition booths will be within the conference venue, providing the ability for participants to visit during tea breaks, lunch, and before and after each day of the conference. The exhibition booths will include the lettering of the organization, a table, and power strip. Within the booth organizations are able to showcase any technology or products. The cost of renting an exhibition booth is $300.

Registration information:

The fee for attending the conference is $100 for students and $150 for non-students.
This includes conference material, lunch and tea/coffee on 26 and 27 May, and a conference dinner on the 26th.
Registration will open on 1 March 2016 and closes on 20 May 2016. Click here to Register.

Contact information:

For further information about the conference please contact: 

  • Dr. Hailemichael Demissie - Senior Research Fellow, the African Centre for Technology Studies. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Ms. Natasha Frosina - Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, the African Centre for Technology Studies. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Eng. Martin Nzomo PE - Dean, Kenyatta University School of Engineering and Technology. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Dr. Joseph Muguthu - Lecturer, Department of Energy Technology, Kenyatta University School of Engineering and Technology. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Conference organisers:


          

Conference partners: