Greetings from Accra
Dear Friends of ArchiAfrika,
As we near the end of what has been a year of great growth, ArchiAfrika would like to thank you all for your support. We have grown from strength to strength in 2014, expanding existing and establishing new initiatives in our mission to broaden the discourse on African architecture, African design and creativity and the ‘African Condition.’
Our monthly forum, Adventurers in the Diaspora continues to evolve in Accra. In 2015, we want this salon to be outcomes-driven, starting in January with ‘Sports as Culture’ themed events: discussion with esteemed sports icons, then an exhibition and art book publication on our Ghanaian sporting legends. This will lead into to developing playgrounds and open spaces for communities across the country.
Our AiD platform for 2014 hosted a diverse group of creatives, entrepreneurs, professionals and academics in lively discourse about topics ranging from the role of creativity in Africa’s development to Women in Film and China’s Influence on Ghanaian Design, Culture and Economy [www.aidiaspora.org]. Our mission to support and bring attention to institutions like the National Museum and the Children’s Library will continue in earnest in 2015.
Under our Creative Force initiative, funded by Prince Claus Fund, we have continued to engage young professionals in a mission to contribute to African development through design. The formation of an ArchiAfrika team in Johannesburg, South Africa and another in Hubei Province, China, marked the beginning of a strong network of young, passionate ArchiAfrika contributors across the globe, that will ensure access for the young creative to the African Dialogue.
ArchiAfrika Accra hosted Eva Goula from Greece, and she was instrumental in developing content and design of publications and design of a Creative Hub project in old Jamestown, amongst others. ArchiAfrika Joburg, headed by Delphina Musisi was supported by volunteers Valerie Rubombora (Uganda), Lamy Subira (Rwanda), and A-J Le Seur (South Africa). Our Nairobi and Capetown presence will be launched in early 2015, with an emphasis on connecting West Africa with the rest of the continent through lectures and exhibitions leading to the establishment of creative hubs in these cities. These will be helmed by Josiah Mugo and Steffen Fischer respectively.
Our education initiatives continue to grow. Our collaboration with TU Delft, one of the leading architecture schools in Europe, will continue in 2015. We will be hosting students and faculty at the end of February for a week, who will be working on an academic project in Accra. ArchiAfrika will host them and provide content for the project brief, as we have done in previous years. Ghanaian Students from KNUST and Central University will work with their counterparts from the Netherlands in Accra, leading to a group visit to TU Delft in April 2015. This kind of exchange is what our Creative Force initiative seeks to promote and encourage. A truly democratic exchange of ideas!!
In the spirit of collaborative growth, ArchiAfrika joined hands with the Institute for Music and Development in Ghana to represent the Mayor of Accra and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly at the World Design Capital 2014 Design House Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa in October. Our installation, A Tale of Two Cities was hugely popular attraction at the exhibition, drawing hundreds of visitors over the space of 4 days.
The AFRICAN CONDITION
2014 also marked the genesis of the new format of the African Condition Dialogues, with ArchiAfrika hosting discussions at a number of events in Africa and Europe. Chairman Joe Osae-Addo has moderated panel discussions with key players from within and outside the built environment community in the movement for sustainable development at UIA 2014, in Durban, South Africa; the DesignSpace Africa Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa; The IX Fórum de Arquitectura ULA in Luanda, Angola and Africa Out Loud! a Prince Claus Fund & Die Nieuwe Kerk initiative in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
ArchiAfrika continues to strive for an empowered dialogue amongst those invested in African development and 2015 promises to be a year of great strides, moving beyond discourse to implementation. We are collaborating with the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy to Ghana to host Accra Revisited: How Creative Impulses Underpinned by Economy and Culture Can Reshape It in early January 2015. This panel discussion will feature a number of the esteemed voices from within the design, arts, culture and business communities in Accra, brought together to engage with the Ghanaian public on urban place-making, highlighting implementable points of discussion leading up to DASUDA’s Urban Design Conference in February 2015 in Accra. We are collaborating with DASUDA to organise the Urban Design Conference from 25th to 27th February and will host a series of discussions and workshops within the conference.
We will be present at a number of events in 2015, contributing further to the dialogue on Africa: a lecture on Contemporary African architecture in Malmo, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland; a lecture at the Cape Craft and Design Institute in Cape Town, the return of the Tale of Two Cities exhibition to Cape Town, participating in the Africa Day celebrations in Johannesburg and the Hargeysa International Book Fair in Hargeysa, Somaliland. We have been invited to African Architecture Events at the University of Florida Gainesville, Kisangani in DR Congo, and several others. Stay tuned to ArchiAfrika channel. www.archiafrika.org
ArchiAfrika will be expanding its content development program and venturing into printed magazine, book and expanded web publications. We are pleased to announce our first project as designers and co-producers of the new ‘PIVOT’ architecture journal for the Ghana Institute of Architects is complete, and will be published early next year. We are also the local partners and content providers for a new book, SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA ARCHITECTURE GUIDE for DOM Publishers, to be launched in 2015. We are collaborating on this with Ms. Korantemaa Larbi. These are very exciting opportunities indeed to share knowledge using different mediums to reach a much broader audience. We will be seeking advice and support, especially in the technology realm to make especially our web based content unique.
ArchiAfrika Accra and Little Sun partnered to promote a solar lamp designed by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederick Ottesen. Little Sun aims to provide clean, reliable and affordable light to the 1.6 billion people without access to electricity. ArchiAfrika and Little Sun teamed up to distribute Little Sun solar lamps within Ghana and West Africa. Our approach will be to work with corporate Ghana in tandem with community and religious organizations to buy solar lamps as part of their social responsibility mandate. The lights will also be given to groups who develop SME programs in which lamps are sold to communities at subsidized prices, generating income and livelihood for the underprivileged. We thank Stanbic Bank, Bioplast, Adamus Mining and JCS (Solar Kiosk) for buying Little Sun from us!
As part of our mandate to reposition ArchiAfrika as a self-sustaining entity, we have embarked a new direction to engage in social enterprises that fit into our institution’s core interests. Relationships like the one with Little Sun allows ArchiAfrika to, if successful, be less dependent on contributions from funding institutions and focus on generation of income to expand our Initiatives. This social entrepreneurial side, will increase support from the local private sector who will see us more as partners than a charity case. We are working on several similar initiatives which we will announce shortly.
CREATIVE HUB IN JAMES TOWN ACCRA
This will be our most ambitious project yet!!!! James Town and other historic urban centers in Ghana are in danger, as developers and government resort to Dubai-esque syndrome of development by erasure. ArchiAfrika believes that James Town can and must be developed organically, rather than resorting to a flawed model of urbanization through which our cities are currently developing. We need a new model for urban regeneration that is truly viable and inclusive, which can be replicated across the country. Through a flagship project in Accra’s historic Jamestown, ArchiAfrika will lead a project to transform an old dilapidated warehouse into Accra’s leading mixed-use development and artistic space. The warehouse will be transformed into lofts, apartments, retail, performance space and a landmark ‘kenkey and fish’ boutique café. This will be a landmark project embodies the evolving of ArchiAfrika as an organization that practices ‘talk shops’ to implementation and economic relevance. We will do this by linking the ethereal creative industry with the real economy of James Town and the indelible need for affordable chic housing in urban centers.
To make a donation to ArchiAfrika or find out about sponsorship opportunities at our events, please contact us at +233 302522248, +233 57760440, +233 264312917 and +233 247701944 or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. In 2015, you will be able to make a tax deductible donation to ArchiAfrika Foundation into the following account:
Account Name: ArchiAfrika Foundation
Bank: Ecobank Ghana Limited
Branch: A&C Mall Branch
USD Account No: 0152064471905201
EUR Account No: 0152064471905202
We wish you a happy Festive Season and all the best in the New Year. We thank you again for your support, especially our friends at DOEN and Prince Claus Fund. We look forward to continued success in 2015!