Africa is a continent renowned for the imagination, resourcefulness, and ingenuity of its designers and makers. This ingenuity, born out of necessity and a pioneering can-do spirit, is drawing the attention of a wider world looking for lasting solutions towards pressing problems such as the accumulation of waste and design for meaningful social change. And regardless of who or where you are scarcity forces you to become imaginative with what you have, and when you truly push yourself amazing things can happen. One such example is WoeLab in Lomé, Togo, where a group of inventors and makers have created a 3D printing machine from e-waste.
WoeLab is a community tech hub that was founded by architect Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou. The idea for the 3D printer came about after Agbodjinou bought a 3D printer for the hub, challenging the innovators to see if they could replicate one with what they had to hand. They have since gone on to create products from the machine and are inspiring tech labs across the continent. With the success of the printer, the group is looking to give 3D printers to local schools in a bid to encourage technology learning. The printer was made from a scanner, printer, and computer parts
E-waste is a growing problem across much of Africa. Local and international dumping of unwanted equipment means it inevitably ends up on the street. And insufficient policy in place to tackle the issue has seen enterprising individuals and organisations working within their communities to find solutions.
– Tapiwa Matsinde
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[Image credits: The images shown belong to WoeLab. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]