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FabLab Anambra: Contextual Assessment

FabLab Anambra: Contextual Assessment

In January 2019 the NextFab Foundation sent a design research team – Laate Olukotun (from the USA) and Jai Mexis (from Greece) – to Nigeria to support a local delegation from CBC Gedu Technologies limited (CBC). The team’s goal was to identify the best place to create a state-of-the-art fablab facility for the local population of Anambra State. 


Nigeria has a bifurcated education system that leads students down two primary paths – a liberal arts curriculum or a technical education. While Nigeria has produced brilliant graduates through its liberal arts program, most students pursuing technical degrees have faced increasing odds of succeeding in their professional careers – especially when compared to their peers in other countries. The CBC was exploring other ways of bringing new opportunities to the youth population throughout Nigeria and one of the innovative concepts that was discovered during their investigations was the fablab model.


Bringing new opportunities to the youth population throughout Nigeria.

Fablabs are open high-tech workshops where individuals have the opportunity to develop and produce custom-made things. It is a community of inventors, entrepreneurs, and lifelong learners who use open source digital fabrication for innovative change. From 3D printers to multiple axis CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines, fablabs offer cutting edge technology for students, educators, community members, and faculty members who can learn how to turn sketches and ideas into real physical solutions and products.

The combined team with representatives from NextFab Foundation, CBC, and Anambra State traveled throughout the region to explore the overall viability of placing a FabLab facility in Anambra State. The team developed and executed interviews with key stakeholders and captured the full range of stakeholder requirements and community use cases. Six preselected sites were visited and documented to determine the best site for a pilot location.