Noting the plight of African urban centers the Ivorian architectural firm the Koffi & Diabaté Group is highlighting the need to improve life in African urban centers. The importance in doing so transcends the notion of “city planning” and “architectural prowess” and instead focuses on the nexus of the capacity building and sustained development within urban cores. The work of the Koffi & Diabaté Group, primarily in the Ivorian city of Abidjan, serves as a prime example of the work that needs to be enacted in urban centers across the continent. As the persistent reality of migration of the African into the continent’s urban centers face the African continent, the need to improve standards of living within the continent’s urban centers will continue to be an issue of concern that will, require prolonged action on the part of both private and public African actors.
To further examine the work of the Koffi & Diabaté Group take a minute to look at this thought-provoking presentation by the firm’s Managing Director Issa Diabaté at the Design Indaba Conference 2014 that was held in Cape Town earlier this year.
*This inaugural post of a multi-part series that will focus on transforming the African Built Environment in accordance with the continent’s development.
IMMEUBLE CARBONE II
Designing the future of urban Africa
The international development community has long recognized that to advance the welfare of a nation, investments in women and girls must be a top priority. However, government implementation of mechanisms to advance the economic, civil, and human rights of women and girls have been lacking around the world. Because of this, civil society organizations and community activists have taken up this cause and have made great strides.
An excellent example of this is ACTS Generation, a Nigerian non-profit organization that directly intervenes in the lives of vulnerable and/or abused women and girls, promote awareness of the plight of women and girls in the country, and to advocate for legislation on issues such as prostitution/human trafficking, gender based violence, and women’s reproductive rights. Led by the dynamic and visionary Laila St. Matthew-Daniel, ACTS Generation is demonstrating that social transformation does not have to start from the top.
Internationally known as "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind," William Kamkamba’s story is not new. Since 2007 the world has known the tale of an impoverished teenage farmhand that lived in a rural village in Malawi and used salvaged tools to build a windmill and power his parent’s small home. William’s story is an illustration of the creative innovative processes that are springing to life across the African continent. In short, Africans are creating African solutions to solve African problems. William’s windmill itself might seem minute when it comes to detailing the overall development process that is occurring across the African continent. But the windmill itself portrays the possibility of things to come. William encapsulates the reality of a rising African youth cohort that is willing to create innovative solutions to solve Africa’s pressing problems, and transform the African narrative.
Learn more about William’s story here, and purchase his thought-provoking memoir it’s a great read.
William Kamkwamba "How I Harnessed the Wind"
The African Union and Agenda 2063.
Many things can occur over the course of fifty years. The African Union believes that within this duration of time the innovative African spirit can transform the reality of the African continent. The African Union’s bold development strategy, Agenda 2063: The Future We Want for Africa, details a new Africa emerging from the continent’s current state and into what the AU describes as an “African Renaissance.” Can it be done; can truly transformative change within the African social structure build a new strengthened and integrated African continent? To be entirely honest these are topics that only time can answer. But what can be taken form the Agenda 2063 us that there is a vision of an united and prosperous Africa. Agenda 2063 details an Africa that uses the potential of its vast youth population to bolster economic growth and strengthen innovative processes; an Africa that is determined to define itself.
Read Agenda 2063 and learn more regarding the vision of a “transformed” Africa.
Words cannot adequately describe the progress that the small landlocked nation of Rwanda has made over the course of the last 25 years. Emerging from the depths of genocide, decrepit poverty, and widespread famine a thriving, young, democratic nation has risen. A nation firmly dedicated to the transformation of its very existence. In the mid-1990s no one in the international community would have thought that Rwanda would become a development star in 20 years’ time. But initiatives implemented by the Rwandan government, as well as a profound reconciliation process amongst the Rwandan people, has enabled the formation a new Rwanda that eagerly awaits the chance of embodying its full potential. As outlined in the nation’s 2020 Development Strategy, Rwanda imagines itself as an ICT (Information and Communications Technology) bastion within the increasingly integrated East African Region. Rwanda sees itself as an emerging actor within the international community. Rwanda’s transformation tells of the increasing strides that the African continent is currently observing, it tells of the dynamic, transformative progress that the continent is capable of unleashing, and furthermore the immense amount of pride that Africans have when it comes to transforming the African narrative. Rwanda’s story remains unfinished, developmental strategy are nothing without proper implementation and popular support. However, Rwanda shows that progress is possible, what remains to be seen is how the possibility of progress will become reality.
A Planned Rendering of Kigali c. 2020
The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue’s “Women at the Peace Table – Africa”
Spurring from the ideas outlined in theUnited Nations Security Council issued Resolution 1325 The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue’s “Women at the Peace Table – Africa” is a network that connects female mediators and advisers that are capable identifying and employing strategies in accordance with various peace processes. CHD developed the “Women at the Peace Table” program as a supporting auspice of the HDC’s “Women at the Peace Table Initiative,” which was launched in 2009 and currently operating in the Asia-Pacific Region and Africa.
The program focuses on three key areas:
I. Advisory Services & Deployment: To high-level Conferences, IGOs, and Conflict Areas.
II. Women’s Reference Group: Which Identifies women directly or indirectly involved in high-level peace processes/negotiations. These women act as advisors and mentors to ensure effective engagement in conflict dialogues, etc.
III. Cyber-Dialogues: Connecting Women involved in peace negotiations to female community members concerning the successes and failures of past initiative tasks.
Furthermore, the program does research allocation & presentations, which collaboration with national and NGO partners through essential channels; empowerment seminars: where individual NGOs initiatives are highlighted and partnerships and joint initiatives are encouraged; and issue-specific publications which are aimed at spurring the inclusion of women perspectives in peace negotiations.
To date The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue’s “Women at the Peace Table – Africa” has engaged I the peacebuilding processes of communities in Nigeria, Somalia, Somalialand, Sudan, and regions across the Sahel.
The center’s work has indelibly played a lasting role in the continued development of sound, secure, and engaged communities across the continent that actively fight to ensure that the errors of their past do not define their future.