A study has shown lack of link between users of design ideas and design professionals. This has resulted into amorphous system of production where the small and medium scale entrepreneurs sweat it out producing a range of products which fetch little in the market because they lack aesthetics, efficiency, certification and documentation. A large number of individuals who excelled in engineering design during their training drop the profession as soon as they leave colleges because, apparently, “no one requires their inputs ” One ought to learn from simple observation day after day that there are hundreds of cheap imports, mainly from Far-East countries—toys, hand- and power-tools, household utensils, kitchen machines and so forth—that have continued selling in volumes in our very local market. It doesn’t take much effort to figure out the secret of their success. This paper outlines personal experience of the author— design/production engineer—from the days of university as a student to career, also field findings from a survey to small-scale metalworking businesses in Dar-es-Salaam in 2002. At the end are recommendations how to turn the system around, including challenging existing curricular; re-shaping society perception of engineering and importance of multidisciplinary teamwork in solving engineering problems
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