Africa is not a country; it is a continent with 54 countries and territories. It has the greatest potential for change. It is also the place where the greatest potential to make more people’s lives better can be realised. This is an issue of architecture and the built environment.

Growth in cities

There is and will be a need for a multitude of ingenious and responsible architects, engineers and planners. The expected population growth in Africa will essentially double the population by 2050, meaning 2.4 billion people. This is an increase over 40 million people a year – that is a new Netherlands every six months for the next 30 years. Most, if not all, of this growth will take place in urban areas. This means that the way we plan our cities will also need radical help, if not a fundamental change in how we think, understand plan and manage these cities.