Nigeria is now home to the GE’s Garages, an ambitious program launched through a partnership between General Electric (GE), Point of Light and the Dangote Foundation. The partnership between the trio is a move to show their commitment and support to Africa’s economic growth, creating awareness and educating the masses on entrepreneurship through technology, hardware and software innovations.
The program’s mission is to teach entrepreneurs new skills that incorporated advanced manufacturing technologies into production. The program launched on 23rd June and will run till 11th July, 2014. The headquarters of operations for the program is in Lagos, Garages Nigeria.
“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,” said Phil Griffith, GE’s Global Supply Chain Leader for Africa.
The program will include curated speakers sessions and workshops within a fully equipped fab lab. The program’s participants will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with technical experts as well as working with advanced hardware and software to help them bring their ideas to life. Some of the equipment that will be at their disposal include; laser cutters, CNC mills, 3D printers and electrical engineering kits that will enable them quickly create new prototypes as a team.
The Garages Nigeria program will train skilled entrepreneurs, employable workers at the same time create opportunities for employment among service suppliers operating in the growing Power Generation industry. Through its Foundation partner, Point of Light, GE will activate its more than 400 employees within Nigeria as well as the global African Affinity Forum with GE, to act as coaches, teachers and a network of mentors for the participants in the program.
The program, although mainly intended to put more focus on the Power Generation industry, it set to expand further and cover more industries such as telecommunications and healthcare.
“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 the real-world – providing hands-on training in advanced manufacturing and production technology,” said, Adiahmbo Odaga, Director of Dangote Foundation.
The Dangote Foundation will produce and maintain the program as well as collaborate in the development of the curriculum for the entrepreneurial and non-skilled participants.
GE first created the Garages experience back in 2012 with a mission of reinvigorating people’s interest in invention, innovation and manufacturing. Currently, they have established the Garages in Washington D.C, Chicago and New York and are expanding to other parts of the world to foster collaboration, makers and entrepreneurial culture. There are more than Nigerian 400 employees under the GE payroll and about 1800 employees in other 35 different African countries.