Windhoek – Kirstin Wiedow is the co-founder and director of the first fabrication laboratory (FABlab) in Namibia, a Centre of Excellence at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST). The centre fosters innovation through knowledge and skills transfer in digital technologies, advanced manufacturing, design thinking and industry 4.0 applications. She studied fashion technology and has over ten years’ experience working in the creative industries in South Africa before relocating to Namibia. She is also one of the youngest directors at NUST.
The lab was awarded the coveted Innovation Excellence Award in 2014 by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development. FABlab Namibia is the first advanced manufacturing, prototyping and design lab in Namibia and the largest FABlab currently within Africa. The lab was established in partnership with the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to enhance local product competitiveness, bridge the technological divide through access to information and communication technology (ICT), new machinery, tools, knowledge, skills and equipment – ultimately to give rise to a technologically and creatively advanced local economy in Namibia. With Kirstin at the helm, innovation in Namibia is moving forward in leaps and bounds. It also demonstrates clearly that the new industries don’t care whether you are male or female. If you have an idea, are passionate and want to innovate and be an entrepreneur, right here in Namibia, it is possible. More and more young Namibians are discovering this.