Africa – Architecture & Urbanization Series 1

Africa the fastest urbanizing continent in the world at present, is home to around 1.3 billion
people. The continent is expected to have around 40% of the world population by 2100. Taking these
facts into consideration, it could be assessed that the future of urbanization is in Africa. The continent,
the ‘cradle of humankind’, is rich in culture, heritage, resources and is diverse. Yet there is unifies the whole continent to one.

The complex fast-paced urbanization process comes with great challenges. In addition, the
global phenomenon of climate change poses a serious threat to Africa as it does all around the world.
These challenges in turn pave the way for opportunities and innovations. The rise of African
architects/planners in the global scenario through the likes of Diebedo Francis Kere, Kunle Adeyemi,
David Adjaye, MASS design group who focus on Afrocentric solutions, well versed in research and
experiences to design resilient and sustainable Africa are examples of the same. Researchers are already
taking action to solve desertification, flooding, food insecurity, and sustainable use of natural resources.
India and Africa have similar demography. India had gone through many complex urban
challenges from time immemorial, especially during the 20th century post-independence period. India
has seen great architects and planners, like Laurie Baker, Charles Correa, B.V Doshi, Raj Rewal, to name a few, who have had tackled many challenges with the support of the Government of India and private organizations.

India, with its experience and expertise can collaborate with Africa to harness sustainable
growth from transforming the urban challenges to opportunities through innovations for the prosperity
of Africa & India. Though culture and traditions are different, Africa-India collaboration can bind people
together to bring unprecedented transformation through innovation and technology, improving the
quality of life. In this rapidly changing world, it provides a platform to think collectively about the global
problems, find solutions and adapt locally to achieve sustainable development.

– Author: Reji Benoy, an Architect who is passionate about sustainability

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