Djeneba Koné, learner and peer-facilitator at Kabakoo Bamako Campus
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Kabakoo is a pan-African network of creative schools offering sustainability-focused training for digital manufacturing by merging high-tech and low-tech
What we do?
Kabakoo Academies is a social enterprise with the mission to accelerate the world’s transition toward sustainable futures by providing relevant learning experiences to ignite the emergence of distributed, clean, and inclusive socio-economic activities.
Kabakooo's approach remedies the shortcomings of the current education systems in Africa. The Kabakoo Academies offer transdisciplinary trainings based on collaborative and experiential methods in fields that are relevant and adapted to local needs. Creative project-based learning, the integration of indigenous knowledge, and technological innovations are the cornerstones of the Kabakoo's learning experience.
Since starting our pilot campus in July 2018, Kabakoo Academies has generated remarkable traction in the industry locally and on the international scene, while impacting more than 470 female and male learners. The World Economic Forum has selected Kabakoo Academies as a global pioneer for "new models of education for the fourth industrial revolution”. The WEF's report "Schools of the Future" defines eight critical characteristics for high-quality learning. Kabakoo Academies has been selected for its multi-stakeholder approach, demonstrated improvement in student outcomes, but also because Kabakoo’s model is highly scalable. Kabakoo's model has received further recognitions from the African Union, the UNESCO and UNEP.
81% of Kabakoo's learners have completed university studies but choose to come to Kabakoo for our focus on the local relevance of tech and knowledge and because university does not prepare them for the job market. Currently, 17% of our learners are women. Even if this proportion is already remarkable for women in tech in the local context, we are working to increase it to reach 50% by 2021. Some of our learners already used their knowledge acquired at Kabakoo to build solutions to local challenges. For instance, a group of learners at Kabakoo has developed West Africa’s first citizen platform to fight ambient air pollution. Another group is building tools for the decentralized recycling of plastic waste. These projects have brought Kabakoo the recognition of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition of UNEP which has listed Kabakoo as non-state actor for the climate.
Why we do it?
By the end of the century, thirteen of the twenty world’s most populated cities will be in Africa. People flow into cities in search of a better life. Addressing the rampant urbanization is therefore less about how to (try to) stop it, than about finding resilient and sustainable alternatives to today’s habits of mind and heart. This is the challenge in and for the Africas and its people and beyond: to imagine, inspire and realize a humane and milieu friendly urbanization, to imagine new kinds of cities and communities. However, what is the city but the people? The city is its people. And what are the people if not their habits of mind and heart, their technological knowledge, in a broad sense their prevailing ideas? The historical rupture of knowledge’s accumulation and transmission in African societies, which is still undergoing, is therefore a crucial dimension for exploring tomorrow’s African (mega)cities and communities
Skills and knowledge to inspire, design, and realize a world of sustainable living together
To reinvent African cities through the learning and transmission of locally relevant knowledge. This is the vision of Kabakoo. We are a network of academies with the goal to empower African youths to discover themselves and build viable models of communities and cities for today and tomorrow.
Each year 8 million young Africans cannot find a way into the local job markets because, firstly, of a lack of competencies despite schooling (in-school-but-not-learning and employability problems); secondly, the expensive models of current high-quality learning institutions limit their reach. Kabakoo Academies address these two problems because, first, we ground our methodology on experiential learning allowing learners to acquire actionable technological competencies in their environments. Second, we are able to save on operational costs significantly through a peer-learning approach and the use of digital platforms, which allows us to target even the lowest income segments.