The Centre of Excellence in Logistics and Transport (CEALT) at the University of Djibouti hosts a state-of-the-art creative space- an open access fabrication lab (fab lab) with advanced technology for project creation. The fab lab offers open-source software and hardware for designing, prototyping and product manufacturing. Accessible to the university community and CEALT’s external partners, it allows for a fast concept-to-creation process for the students at the University of Djibouti.
Aimed at unlocking students’ potential and creativity, the Fablab empowers students with digital design skills, prototyping tools, and new digital technology access for entrepreneurship and research project development, as well as providing a hands-on, accessible environment. The fab lab has been instrumental in fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders. Key activities of the fab lab include research projects, conferences and workshops, intellectual support for students and teachers as well as exhibitions.
Since its establishment in 2019, over 150 students have received training and mentorship with more than 50 training workshops and other activities organized each year. In line with bolstering entrepreneurship, four start-ups were established in 2022 to further nurture students’ innovations. Two awards (Hackathons) have been won from the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and Africa Innovations Week in recognition of ground-breaking innovations from the fab lab. The fab lab is not made accessible only to the university community, however, other individuals with a keen interest in technology are allowed to cultivate their interests through visits and trainings. Over 100 high school students have visited the fab lab to explore activities undertaken.
The CEALT fab lab is part of a global consortium of 1750 fab labs working collaboratively to offer the necessary resources and tools to enable a digitally dynamic and growing world. Other strategic partnerships have been established to further propel the activities of the lab as well as provide technical backstopping when necessary. These include:
- Technical partnership with the National Union of Djiboutian Women in the framework of the awareness campaign against Female Genital Mutilation and HIV AIDS
- Partnerships with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Innovation (MENI) and the World Bank in the implementation of the National Innovation Strategy
- Training and research collaboration with the American Embassy via Morgan State University.
The Centre of Excellence in Logistics and Transport (CEALT) is one of the 53 centres of excellence established to address developmental challenges in priority areas in the region. With over 30% regional students’ population, the centre is dedicated to equipping its students with specialized training and research tools and knowledge in contributing to improving transport and logistics in the region.