Can 3D-Printed Schools Tackle Africa's Classroom Shortage?

The success of a project by 14Trees - a joint venture between Swiss cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim and British development finance agency CDC Group - has shown how 3D printing could be transformative in Africa, where there is a dire shortage of classroom space.

The U.N. children's agency UNICEF estimates there is a shortfall of 36,000 primary school classrooms in Malawi alone, a gap that Francois Perrot, 14Trees managing director, estimates could be closed in 10 years using 3D-printing technology. Large-scale 3D printing is gaining steam around the world, with some projects producing a home in just 24 hours of printing time for a few thousand dollars.


The new 3D-printed school in Salima, made of concrete placed layer by layer through a computer-controlled nozzle, in central Malawi, June 18, 2021.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.