SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

26 June 2014

South Africa: Mobile Labs to Light Up Young Minds

The City of Tshwane and the Innovation Hub have partnered to provide disadvantaged young people with entry points into the worlds of entrepreneurship, science and technology via specially designed and equipped mobile laboratories.

The laboratories - the FabLab, eKasi Labs and Kusile Mobile Science Labs - will start operating from this week, serving school learners and unemployed youngsters in a bid to address the shortage of science and technology skills in the city. Entrepreneurial mentorships and workshops will also be offered.

The Fab Lab (short for Fabrication Laboratory), a mini-factory for the digital fabrication of prototypes, including 3D printing and computerised laser cutting, will be located at the Innovation Hub.

eKasi Labs, which will be launched on Friday at the GaRankuwa Arts & Crafts Centre, will serve as places where young people can learn to create tangible solutions to their community's problems

And 14 Kusile Mobile Science Labs, designed and manufactured by local entrepreneurs from Kusile Labs & Technology at a cost of R56 000 per unit, will be stationed at schools with inadequate science laboratories.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative on Tuesday, Innovation Hub CEO McLean Sibanda said the partnership followed "from a strategic decision to take innovation to the people, by establishing co-creation spaces that will foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial activities that better the lives of the community and create wealth."

Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said: "We owe it to the youth of 1976 to initiate programmes that will liberate today's youth from socio-economic segregation."

- SAnews.gov.za

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