• Architecture Made In Africa: Unpublished Or Non- Existent?

Where are the works of all the architects that are trained in Architecture Schools in Africa? The schools in West Africa, East Africa, North and South? What inspiring innovative or social projects have they done? Every day weI hear of environmental certified projects, community projects and corporate and the architects are either from the west and/or trained in the west.  We all want quality spaces in the continent irrespective of who realizes them but it would be great honor if these spaces are created and imagined within the continent. It will be easier and quicker then, for Africa to find its own solutions. Is it that great works of architecture by architects trained in Africa are not well published or covered by media? Or the works can’t just make it to the media. I sincerely want to believe and hope that there are lots of great works in the continent that we never get to know of.

In school we learn of the works of Mike Pearce an Architect in Zimbabwe and enthusiast of sustainable design who was trained in AA School of Architecture. Award winning Francis Kere known for his projects in Gando was trained in Technical University of Berlin while Issa Diabete of Koffi Diabete Architectes  was in Yale to mention but a few.

Most award winning and published projects in Africa are done by Architects either trained in the west or from the west. The Makoko Floating School for example a pilot project in Lagos Lagoon is by Kunle Adeyemi who is not only based in Netherlands but was trained in New Jersey.

The Butaro hospital in Rwanda is by Mass Design Group based in Boston and this is not their only project in Africa while the Salam hospital in Khartoum is by the Italy based Studio Tamascociati. Are these projects just so published or is it a fact that Architects trained in the west are having better solutions for architectural problems in Africa than those trained in schools in Africa?

Where are the award winning projects done by Architects trained in the continent? Do we have to get a masters degree from the west to do this? Where are the Architects who graduate yearly from Cairo University, University of Nairobi, Benghazi University, Yaba College of Technology, and The Copperbelt University among others? Where are the Hassan Fathys of our time or those in his footsteps? Trained in the then King Fuad University (Cairo University) and proceeded to establish memorable works that are still being studied by Architecture scholars.

How I see it is that there are great works by Architects trained in the continent but are not well published. I refuse to believe that there is none or few for that matter.  I want to believe and hope that I am the one who is not familiar with these works and that with proper publication we will see lots of works from Architects graduated from schools mentioned above and others in Africa.

As a challenge the upcoming Architects, the fresh minds that are pumped to the industry every year should aim at creating quality spaces irrespective of sizes of the projects. We have to fight the diseases of being the local architects of project so and so, which was done abroad. We have to push ourselves to the limits, grab every opportunity to publish our works and prove to the entire world that Africa has solutions within and as much as aid from abroad is welcome we can also do it and the right way.

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