In a move to show its committment to supporting economic growth in Africa and driving both awareness and education on entrepreneurship via technology, hardware and software innovations in the industry, General Electric, the Dangote Foundation and Points of Light have launched the GE’s Garages program in Nigeria to spur innovation and manufacturing.
The centre is aimed at helping makers and entrepreneurs acquire new skills and learn about advanced manufacturing technologies and is set to run from 23 June to 11 July at GE‘s regional headquarters in Lagos, Garages Nigeria.
According to GE’s Global Supply Chain Leader for Africa Phil Griffith, “We are glad that GE and Dangote Foundation are working on an initiative that will equip Nigerians with the skills that are crucial in the development of the Power Generation sector – and make Nigerians more employable in a fast changing technology-driven world.”
The program will feature curated speakers sessions and workshops amidst a fully equipped fab lab. Participants will work with technical experts and use advanced hardware and software to bring their ideas to life, using equipment like CNC mills, laser cutters, 3D printers, and electrical engineering kits to quickly and collaboratively create new parts and prototypes.
Garages Nigeria will train skilled entrepreneurs, employable workers and create employment opportunities amongst service suppliers within the growing Power Generation sector. With the help of GE Foundation partner Points of Light, GE will activate its 400+ employees in Nigeria, as well as the global African Affinity Forum within GE, to create a network of mentors, coaches and teachers for program participants.
Though the first phase will focus on the Power Generation sector, the program is likely to expand to serve other core industries such as healthcare and telecommunications.
Director of Dangote Foundation Adiahmbo Odaga said, “I am delighted to work with GE to set up a learning environment that is different from the traditional classroom. This program is unique in that it is focused in both the classroom, as well as in the real-world – providing hands-on training in advanced manufacturing and production technology.”
The Dangote Foundation will help produce and maintain the program and will collaborate on curriculum development for entrepreneurial and non-skilled participants.
GE created the Garages experience in 2012 to reinvigorate interest in invention, innovation and manufacturing. The Garages are present in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. and are being expanded globally to foster a culture of collaboration, makers and entrepreneurs around the world. GE has over 400 employees in Nigeria and 1800 employees across 35 countries in the Africa region.