Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Abísola Kúsimo

Main content start

Graduate Student Research Funding | 2019 - 2020 Academic Year

Engineering the Arts: Scaling up Collective Efforts to Increase the Yield of Successful Novice Ghanaian Product Developers and Innovators at a Start Up School

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains the only region in the world without strong policy, standardized skillsets, and infrastructure supporting industrialization. Most SSA countries rely heavily on the exports of raw goods that are converted into finished products and re-imported back into the continent. Given its size, geographic positioning, and desperate need to address job creation for youth unemployment, Africa is well-poised to emerge as the continental front-runner for the low-skilled manufacturing work slowly leaving China. Kúsimo's research explores barriers to indigenous SSA late-stage product development and using Ghanaian schools/factories as case studies, she designs innovative capacity-building interventions for scaling successful initiatives.

Abísola Kúsimo, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Abísola Kúsimo

Abísola Kúsimo is a PhD student in mechanical engineering with a PhD minor in management science and engineering. She holds a BS in mechanical engineering, with minors in rhetoric communication, engineering leadership, and technology entrepreneurship, from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses regionally in West Africa and pursues broadening scholarly understandings of: 1) leveraging arts/crafts as vehicles for technical vocational and educational training (TVET), 2) the local late-stage product development process/barriers and 3) mechanisms for scaling up indigenous industrialization efforts and enterprises. Kúsimo's latest projects explore the relationship of arts/crafts to engineering/fabrication, and how it incites technical self-learning.

Kúsimo co-organizes the Africa Development Scholars academic affinity group, an interdisciplinary graduate workshop that centers students engaging in critical work on the continent; it is sponsored by the Stanford King Center on Global Development.

Return to past recipients of graduate student research funding