STEMpower IN TIMES OF COVID-19 EPIDEMIC IN AFRICA
On May 15th, 2020, STEMpower in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education (MoE) opened the first FabLab facility of its kind in the country.
The FabLab was inaugurated by Mr. Solomon Shiferaw, the advisor to the Minister in the Ministry of Education and Ms Kidist Gebreamlak Executive Director of STEMpower.
In an impressive display of collaboration and speed, this effort was able to take the Fab Lab from idea to opening in less than two months.
Our Lab includes 3D printers, CNC machining routers, and equipment for prototypes, working models, and some manufacturing.
Since the May opening, the Fab Lab is already drawing a large number of local young entrepreneurs who are using the space to fuse traditional skills with modern fabrication technology. The FabLab provides access to workspace and machining equipment, prototyping resources, expert advice, entrepreneurship skills, networking, and international funding sources.
Five prototypes geared towards prevention and mitigation of Covid-19 are in prototype production process: Covid-19 Bracelet - wristwatch-like bracelet that alerts individuals from touching their face to prevent Covid-19 transmission, two Mechanical Ventilators, Automatic Sanitizer Dispenser; Whole Body Sanitization Tunnel (Covid-19 Disinfectant), Oxygen Concentrator Machine for Mechanical Ventilators and more.
“Innovations that happen at the Fab Lab can soon transfer to the industrial sector, and we may see quite a few startups. It’s very important that we show that Ethiopians can do this in-country and don’t need to rely on imports,” says Kidist STEMpower’s CEO.
As stated by Ezedine Kamil, a 19yr old high school student at Wolkitie University STEMpower Center who is developing the Covid-19 Bracelet, "My great wish is to apply our inventions towards the purpose for which they were created. To solve community problems in our country."
STEMpower is currently establishing its second FabLab in partnership with Addis Ababa Science and Technology University located Akaki Kality Sub-city, Kilinto area, in the outskirt of Addis Ababa.
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