Urban Planning in Africa

Generally speaking Urban Planning in major African cities is consolidated within the hands of national governments whom have structured the way things are done as neocolonial, unless you are part of the parliament or government its very difficult to impact the planning scene. Another factor is planning schools in Africa are running programs that are not in line with the current needs of there countries. Nigeria for instance has a total of 49 planning schools but this large number is not reflected on the morphology of Lagos, so either the planning curricula are flawed or the products of these universities are not able to practice what they have learned.

I think its important for African planning students who are training to be planners in the university system let it be African or any other school in the world to learn but learn with a grain of salt. As I reflect on the education I have gotten here, and the one I would have gotten in my very own country which sadly still emulates the French educational system, a large amount of our learning curve that can result in tangible results will need to be self taught and innovative in ways we have not seen yet.

But what is encouraging and I think quite exiting is the advantages being a planner and architect in rural Senegal presents. My country has 456 Planning and Architecture firms, we have been independent from the French since June 1960 and in June 2017 Senegal would have produced its very first Design Firm operating entirely out of an African language and if I stopped at the construction of the first school in my native village (project underway) I would have made a difference and that gives me a great deal of satisfaction. But that should be the beginning of a design firm that strives to have a therapeutic effect on its people.

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