La Fondation Dassault Systèmes Celebrates Africa Day

Explore recent education and research partnership projects acting for a better future in African countries.

With the world’s youngest population, Africa has an immense opportunity for inspiring, educating and empowering its next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. It is crucial to provide safe, inclusive and effective learning environments for all, expanding access to quality education that is also relevant to the needs of the continent. Africa is also severely affected by climate change, standing out as the world’s most vulnerable region.

La Fondation Dassault Systèmes is committed to supporting Africa’s continued development in a sustainable manner. On Africa Day, which serves as an occasion for the world to acknowledge the achievements of the peoples and governments of Africa, we are proud to highlight projects that contribute to better educational opportunities, reduced inequalities, and climate action, in alignment with several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read on to learn more about three specific projects underway in Africa.

Ethiopia: Educating future leaders

The need for an education reform is particularly critical in Ethiopia, the world’s poorest country, which has an antiquated education system that does not teach the skills required in today’s world.

Eager to prepare young people for future challenges, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes partners with Ethiopia Education Initiatives (EEI) in their mission to develop and deliver a model for superior educational opportunities for talented Ethiopian students that will ignite transformational changes in their education system. Their first project is a Design Lab and Robotics Center program for 400 students of promise recruited from across the country offered by the Haile-Manas Academy (HMA). The program is the first of its kind and can be replicated everywhere to become the model for providing Ethiopia’s most promising secondary students with a superior education while helping to transform the education available to all Ethiopian students. The result is a new generation of resilient, independent, community-minded and enterprising young citizens who have the tools to create positive change in Ethiopia and in the world.

Cameroon: InnoTech Lab trains a new generation of African engineers

La Fondation Dassault Systèmes has supported the nonprofit Digital Transformation Alliance (DTA) to launch Innotech Lab, the first high-tech innovation center for technology, industrialization and education in Cameroon. 

The mission of InnoTech Lab is to instill an inclusive and sustainable transformation of African society based on industry and digital technology, while creating more access to, understanding of, and experimentation with 3D virtual technologies among young students, teachers, researchers, and their ecosystems. The InnoTech Lab focuses on training, development, incubation and acceleration of digital know-how and engineering to build problem-solving skills and new jobs, fostering new technologies and applications.

To develop these skills, volunteers with digital expertise regularly meet with DTA and teachers to ensure that the center is advancing and operating with the correct tools and technology. In turn, these trained teachers will now begin to train a new generation of African engineers to meet local industrial workforce needs. To date, the Lab has trained twenty teachers in this innovative learning model.

More about the InnoTech Lab project.

Kenya: Using a virtual lake to understand and manage our inland water resources

The short-term future of lakes in arid and semi-arid zones of the world is very uncertain, due to their extreme sensitivity to climate variability and changes in the way we interact with these systems such as modifications in land use or the building of dams.

The dramatic fall in lake level of some great lakes in Africa illustrates the high vulnerability of lakes and their ecosystems. It underlines the critical need to better understand how they work in order to better protect them in the future.

Digital approaches are particularly important for many of the African large lakes as they are often data sparse in terms of measurement and monitoring. La Fondation Dassault Systèmes is partnering with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) who is coordinating a team of teachers and researchers from the Institut Terre et Environnement de Strasbourg (ITES), the Delft University of Technology, Deltares and the UniLaSalle GéoLab on the Virtual Lakes project, to develop and share a 3D numerical simulation model of sedimentary hydrodynamics that are specific to lakes.

The project team will simulate conditions such as rapidly varying water levels, shoreline migration, deltas, segmentation hydrodynamics and water quality for Lake Turkana in Kenya. The team will also use the simulation model to forecast the effects of climate change, anticipate the dispersal of pollutants, locate areas of coastal erosion, help preserving continental water resources and ecosystems, and better plan human activity in coastal areas as well as in the drainage basin.


About La Fondation Dassault Systèmes

Since 2015, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes has been supporting the transformation of education, research, and the way we study cultural heritage. Beyond new skills, constructive collaborations, and an aspiration to reimagine and support a more sustainable world, the aim is above all to instill a spark around science and technologies for future generations. At the core of knowledge transmission, virtual worlds enable to better comprehend the world, and to push back the boundaries of understanding, thanks to stakeholders’ active commitment.

As a catalyst for know-how and passion, La Fondation Dassault Systèmes values involvement and sharing spirit, notably through skills sponsorship, to place human interactions at the heart of learning.

It operates through three foundations in Europe, India and the United States.