The term “Mboa” can have different meanings in several native languages of Cameroonian tribes. For the Matakam in the North, “Mboa” means new; for the Sawa in the Littoral, “Mboa” means village, home. For the Ewondo in the Centre of Cameroon, “Mboa” means one, unique. By association, Mboalab means the house of innovation. Indeed, Mboalab is an open and collaborative space located in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Operating as a research and applied Center for Open Science and Citizen Science, Mboalab was officially opened in December 2017.
The aim of MboaLab is to catalyse sustainable local development and improve people’s living conditions through open science. To this end, the main missions of Mboalab are as follows:
● provide community and lifelong education for the population, as well as formal education for the younger generations;
● serve as a platform for exchanges on issues related to local context;
● mediate between local communities and academia;
● propose solutions that meet the needs of communities, using local knowledge and open digital technologies;
● raise public awareness of environmental issues;
● facilitate access to basic health care.
Our vision of sustainable local development
We advocate for the character of a local development, which is conferred by the imperative to have it emerge from the communities themselves; this is what ensures its relevance and sustainability. In other words, sustainable local development needs to be thought of by and for the members of a given community. To do so, it is important to break the unenthusiastic spirit that exists among many Cameroonians, by training healthy, educated citizens capable of critical thinking on issues related to their immediate environment. By choosing education and health as priority axes, associated with its role as a mediator between Science-Technologies-Societies; we can say clearly that Mboalab could be a powerful catalyst for local sustainable development.
To achieve this goal, Mboalab is conducting Research & Development programs through its 3 main departments :
2- Artificial Intelligence and electromechanics;
3 – Scholarly Communication and Library Science.