About the project

PBL East Africa develops best practices in problem-based education as a joint initiative between University of Dar es Salaam, University of Nairobi, Makerere University and Aalto University. We bring together faculty, students and external partners in the four partnering countries to work on sustainable innovation challenges between 2017 and 2020.

The project operates as a piloting platform for testing, sharing and refining the implementation of problem-based education – while also building regional and global networks to share knowledge and deepen innovation capabilities in East Africa and beyond.

Read more about our PBL challenges and get involved by contacting our team.

Project goals

Why problem-based learning?

Universities play an important role in developing the necessary skills, knowledge and tools to respond to both persistent and newly emerging societal challenges. Problem-based learning (PBL) – also known as project-based or challenge-driven learning – is a particularly powerful approach to seeking and applying in-depth knowledge from many disciplines.

The approach centers the students and emphasises their capabilities in communication, knowledge acquisition, reasoning, and teamwork. PBL also helps question the relevance and impacts of proposed solutions to clients, users and surrounding communities, leading to enhanced societal impact in the long run.


PBL East Africa is a joint initiative between University of Dar es Salaam’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, University of Nairobi’s C4DLab, Makerere University’s CEDAT College and Aalto University from Finland. From Aalto University, involved are four multidisciplinary master’s programmes and courses:

As part of our student challenges, we also work directly with client organisations from various sectors. Get in touch with us to discuss collaboration opportunities.

The project is funded by the HEI ICI Programme by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and facilitated by Aalto Global Impact, which promotes Aalto University’s research and educational programmes for societal impact globally.