AITI teacher and MIT undergrad, Cory Smith, assists students at Strathmore University in Kenya

AITI teacher and MIT undergrad, Cory Smith, assists students at Strathmore University

If you think MIT students do interesting work during the school year, wait until you hear about their summer plans.

Founded in 1993, the Africa Information Technology Initiative (AITI) is a student-run organization that sends a handful of MIT students to Africa each summer to teach  students  about information technology and communications, as well as entrepreneurship. Previous groups have worked in Gambia, Ethiopia, and Zambia, however this year’s teams are teaching at Strathmore University in Kenya and (for a two-week pilot program) Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in Rwanda. Coursework will focus on designing and developing mobile phone applications—products that are considered valuable to many African consumers and whose projected and real growth is large and potentially lucrative.

Four students make up the 2009 Kenyra/Rwanda team:

  • Michael Gordon SM ′02, CSAIL PhD candidate and president of AITI
  • Zachary Stauber, an undergrad who recently attended the Global Startup Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Cory Smith, an undergrad economics major interested in international development
  • Julian Yuen, a computer science undergrad with a passion for mobile application programming

You can follow the group’s adventures in and out of the classroom on their blog: http://aiti.mit.edu/blog/

AITI also accepts donations and notes that “100% of donations will be  used for program initiatives.”