The Francophone Network of West African FabLabs (ReFFAO) is first and foremost a community: a network of more than 20 innovation sites across West Africa that offers each citizen the opportunity to become an actor in his or her own development, through digital fabrication tools.
The covid-19 pandemic has forced countries to rely heavily on their own resources, so Fablab has become an important civil society player in meeting the challenge of health protection.
From Senegal to Benin, through Mali, Burkina Faso, and the Ivory Coast, a multitude of solutions have been developed and deployed.
Overview of the ReFFAO Fablab involved in the DIRECCT (Digital Response Connecting Citizens) program financed by the European Union in partnership with the Organization of African Caribbean and Pacific States, and piloted by the French Development Agency (AFD):


Delivery of sanitary gel dispensers by Donilab in Mali.

In Côte d’Ivoire, located at the Centre des métiers de l’électricité in Bingerville, TechLAB has prototyped 3D masks. With 5 3D printers, it has the capacity to produce several dozen visors per day.

The Bamako FabLab in Mali, DoniFab, has developed an automated hand washing system and is working with a team of health specialists in Mali on an artificial respirator.

In Benin, the Cotonou BioLab printed masks and visors for distribution to health centers in the city of Cotonou.

In Senegal, the SenFabLab is located in the suburbs of Dakar. The team has been working on protective masks and visors as well as an automated hand-washing system made from recycled materials.
In collaboration with several tailors in the Grand Yoff commune of Dakar, they plan to produce nearly 700,000 fabric masks to meet the need for protection against covid-19.

The BlocTechno team in Senegal has developed an automatic antiseptic gel press and has made the tutorial for making the device freely available online:

In Lomé, Togo, a team of Makers including EcoTecLab, the start-up TIDD, and Mr. AKAKPO from ENSI have prototyped an Artificial Respirator and made protective visors.