Social and digital innovation in Dakar


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JokkoLabs 65-66 résidence Machala Nord-Liberté 6 Extension DAKAR
SN Senegal


About the project Edit

Launched by Jokkolab, the Jokko-[Fab]-Labs project’s goal is to carry out a feasibility study for the creation of a FabLab in Dakar. Jokkolabs is a centre for technological and social innovation and the first coworking space in West Africa. A team of young designers from the ENSCI-les Ateliers is also assisting this initiative.

Jokko-[Fab]-Lab is an exploratory and collaborative initiative to address the issues and potential of a FabLab in West Africa. What are its applications? Limitations? What sort of working model should be used? This reflection aims to duly consider the social and economic context of Dakar, in order to anticipate the FabLab’s potential role and impact.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Jokko-[Fab]-Lab aims to consider, together with Senegalese project leaders, the potential of FabLabs as a tool, support, resource space. This project is unique in its emphasis on the project facet of the FabLab concept. Looking beyond the technical aspect, what is the potential role of a FabLab in a city like Dakar, in terms of social and economic innovation?

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The social aspect of this project is primordial; in fact, the idea is to make the FabLab open and accessible to the greatest possible number of project leaders. As part of our reflection, we will thus consider questions of training, learning, knowledge sharing, and skill building.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The aim of the study is to determine whether a FabLab would be economically feasible in the city of Dakar, in the short to medium term.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Since JokkoLabs’ participation in LIFT France 2010 and the InnovAfrica 2010 and 2011 Forums, we have been studying the potential of a FabLab in Dakar, in collaboration with the InnovAfrica and Imagination for People communities and Jean-Michel Cornu. The Jokko-[Fab]-Lab project has gained new momentum thanks to the enthusiasm of Laura Pandelle and the group of students from the ENSCI who have contributed their expertise to this exploratory study as part of a final academic project. Our project is based on the idea that the success of a FabLab depends on its proper integration with the local economy, existing practices and the social issues.. Therefore, this initiative aims to reflect on the issues and potential of a FabLab in Dakar.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

The approach taken is iterative and does not impose any particular dogma. It is based on innovating and finding an economic model feasible for the community willing to engage in the project and for the implementation context for the first FabLab in Francophone Africa.


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