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Call for participants: Reimagining African Futures through Transformative Urbanism and Architecture

Reimagining African Futures through Transformative Urbanism and Architecture

A Symposium for Practitioners organised by the African State Architecture project, SOAS, University of London, the African Futures Institute, and the Institute for African Studies, University of Ghana

Accra, 20-23 September 2022

This symposium is aimed at early career professionals from any part of Africa working in urban planning, architecture and related fields within 7 years of completion of their last degree. A number of places is reserved for professionals from other academic disciplines (politics, anthropology, geography, history, etc) with an interest in space and urban politics.

The symposium will focus on how African architects and urban planners can develop and implement new ways of thinking about the role of architecture in reflecting and reshaping social and political relationships. Rather than seeing Africa as a recipient of ideas about the political uses of space and structures from outsiders, participants will explore ways in which they can develop their own, different and critical approaches to building, both in ideas and structures. Applicants will be guided to develop their ideas about the future of architecture and urbanism in African countries into policy briefs, design proposals or manifestoes.

Participants will explore the ways their practice is informed by and contributes to political and social processes. They will be expected to pitch innovative ideas in the form of policy briefs, synopses, or design proposals geared at addressing specific problems in, and the reimagining of, architecture and urbanism in African countries. Participants will be guided to develop their work for publication in the inaugural ‘Reimagining African Futures’ compendium.

The three-day event will involve the following activities:

o attending a roundtable discussion led by academics on ideas about architecture and international relations across Africa

o an ideas pitching session where participants will present their draft policy briefs and design proposals to peers and experts

o mentorship by practising academics and experts in architecture, urbanism, policy planning, and governance

o seminar discussions and activities around the theme of ‘African contributions to architecture and international politics’

o visits to architectural sites of interest in and around Accra

o a workshop dinner

We will provide travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and logistics support for visa applications where necessary.

Please apply by sending:

· a 500-word reflection piece on the relationship between architecture and politics, or an abstract outlining a proposed design intervention or an idea for a policy intervention (this can be based on your own practice or on your reading)

· a two-page CV

These should be sent to The deadline for applications is Friday 20 May 2022. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-June. If you have any questions, please write to Innocent Batsani Ncube at

We look forward to welcoming you to Accra!

Symposium convenors

Innocent Batsani Ncube, SOAS, University of London

Emmanuel Ofori-Sarpong, Central University College

Kuukuwa Manful, SOAS, University of London

Professor Julia Gallagher, SOAS, University of London

Professor Lesley Lokko, African Futures Institute

Dr Irene Appeaning-Addo, IAS, University of Ghana


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