This blog post is part of a collaboration between the African Union and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to enhance the visibility of innovators recognized at this year’s African Union Expo.
My name is Dodzi Aglago. I'm from Togo, and at 27 years old, I am the Director General of MOBILELABO, a company I founded.
MOBILELABO is a mobile laboratory that specializes in the design and sale of science education materials. We also offer services such as laboratory construction and teacher training on the development of science education materials.
As my company’s name indicates, we are a mobile company, and we travel to disadvantaged schools to conduct practical experiments with students in exchange for a small contribution.
Lack of tools for teaching sciences in a practical way
It all began in 2013 after I received my bachelor’s degree and encountered challenges while pursuing my master’s. I began my teaching career as a physical science and mathematics teacher. But the school at which I taught had neither a laboratory nor the materials necessary for teaching science, like 90% of the other schools in Togo, which meant that we could not do the experiments described in the textbooks, as is recommended.
Of the 200 papers I corrected for the baccalaureate in 2013, only 25 passed. That really struck me because my country needs engineers, technical specialists, doctors - essentially scientists. I also thought that parents’ investment in their children’s education was being squandered.
Moreover, there was no company on the African education market that could provide affordable science equipment in all domains, and disadvantaged schools do not have the means to acquire a laboratory or materials.
These factors, combined with my frustration, gave birth to the idea of creating a mobile laboratory, which has now evolved into the company MOBILELABO. Since 2014, the company has allowed me to create 10 jobs, with annual revenue that currently stands at CFAF 12 million.