Africa’s Leading Architects Revealed!

At a gala awards ceremony held on the rooftop of the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, the inaugural Grand Prix and Category Winners of the Africa Architecture Awards ( were announced on the evening of Thursday, 28 September 2017. Over 130 VIP guests were in attendance at this glittering event, including the Consul-General of France in Cape Town, Mr Laurent Amar, the Chairman of the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philip Geromont, and Claude van Wyk of the Kingdom of The Netherlands Consulate General in Cape Town. The shortlisted finalists were flown into South Africa from across the continent and the world, and hosted by awards founder and sponsor Saint-Gobain (

The much-anticipated gala was the culmination of an ambitious two-year awards programme that was initiated and supported by construction industry innovator Saint-Gobain with the ultimate aim of stimulating conversations about African architecture as it cements its place in a global continuum. The Africa Architecture Awards is the first-ever Pan-African awards programme of its kind. A steering panel headed by Professor Lesley Lokko guided the awards with strategic input from Ambassador Phill Mashabane, advisor Zahira Asmal, and patron Sir David Adjaye, one of the globe’s most influential voices in architecture.

According to Adjaye: “The Africa Architecture Awards are very critical. Now is the time to promote excellence and best practice on the continent. The Africa Architecture Awards are particularly important because this is the moment that a lot is happening on the continent in terms of development, in terms of the architecture that’s being produced.”

Adjaye’s statement is borne out by the high level of interest the competition has received from architects working on projects located in Africa. Over 300 projects from 32 African countries were entered into the awards.

For the inaugural edition of the Africa Architecture Awards, the organisers set themselves an initial target of 150 entries from 20 African countries. Consider then, what a huge task faced the Master Jury when the awards exceeded all expectations and grew to 307 entries from 32 countries in Africa – more than double the size of what was initially envisaged.

The initial shortlist of 21 projects was chosen by the Master Jury and announced earlier in 2017. Chaired by Dr Mark Olweny, the jury comprised leading African architects and academics including: Anna Abengowe (Nigeria), Guillaume Koffi (Ivory Coast), Professor Edgar Pieterse (South Africa), Patti Anahory (Cape Verde), Tanzeem Razak (South Africa), and Phill Mashabane (South Africa).

The Master Jury then reconvened for two days prior to the awards ceremony to evaluate the 21 shortlisted projects and decide on the most deserving entries across four categories. Through the Master Jury’s dedication and considered response to an unprecedented challenge, the final category winners – each of whom received a specially designed bronze trophy – were decided as follows:

  • Critical Dialogue: Forum de Arquitectura – by CEICA, Angola
  • Speculative: The Territory In-between, Cape Verde – by Guinea’s Aissata Balde, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
  • Emerging Voices: The Exchange Consulate: Trading Passports for Hyper-Performative Economic Enclaves, South Africa – by Nigerian student Ogundare Olawale Israel of the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg
  • Built: Umkhumbane Museum, South Africa – by Choromanski Architects, South Africa

The Grand Prix was awarded to the project that best describes the ultimate objective of the Africa Architecture Awards, which is to inspire the future of African architecture. The Grand Prix winner received both a bespoke trophy and the cash prize of USD$10 000. Umkhumbane Museum, South Africa by Choromanski Architects was named the overall winner.

In addition to the projects highlighted by the Master Jury, the awards programme ran a public participation component earlier in 2017, where members of the public could vote for their favourite project. The People’s Choice Award had over a million viewers and votes across a range of projects stretching from kiosks to urban regeneration schemes. The winning project received a Certificate of Excellence at the ceremony and this went to James Cubitt Architects Lagos for the speculative project titled Bank Head Office in Lagos, Nigeria.

Commenting on the outcome of the first iteration of the awards, the MD of Saint-Gobain Retail Division, Evan Lockhart-Barker states: “Although this is only the first edition of the Africa Architecture Awards, we believe we have captured an incredible moment in time for Pan-African architecture. Having launched the first-ever awards of its kind, we’ve seen the incredible response from architects working across the continent. The values and aspirations displayed in the awards have led to incredible insights about the continent and its shape-shifting ways.”

“Yet we still have a way to go to write our own story about architecture and its role here. Africa is indeed rising but due to the continent’s resourcefulness and complex regional identities, we’ve already learnt that our awards programme requires even more diversity to capture Africa and all its spectrums. We look to future editions of the awards to achieve this.”

Following the awards ceremony on the Thursday evening, a thought-provoking public colloquium titled ‘Celebrating Architecture in Africa’ was held on Friday, 29 September 2017 at the University of Cape Town. With a speaker line-up of 21 specialists from across the world, the free event, which was also supported by Saint-Gobain, provided a platform to discuss the awards in more detail and explore architecture within the African context.

Providing access to information about architecture in Africa and ensuring that this knowledge is shared widely and freely to the continent is a primary and ongoing aim of the awards. This is evidenced in events such as the colloquium, as well as publications such as the Africa Architecture Awards’ digital portal (, Documenting all 307 projects entered into the awards via video, images and text, this digital asset now stands as one of the most vibrant and extensive repositories of contemporary African architecture to date.

Described as the “4th Revolution” in Africa, digital channels and technology shift paradigms daily on the continent. From the outset, awards founder Saint-Gobain has embraced the role of digital media to promote architectural practice and dialogue to broader audiences than traditionally enjoyed by institutional award structures.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Africa Architecture Awards.

Media release issued by:
Lauren Shantall (Pty) Ltd

Media Contact:
Nokuphila Nzimande
+27 (0) 21 685 0169

About Saint-Gobain:
The founder of the Africa Architecture Awards, Saint-Gobain (, is proud to be bringing an awards programme with criteria that are in line with its DNA. For 350 years, the Group has consistently pushed the boundaries of technology and solutions in the construction markets. In sub-Saharan Africa, Saint-Gobain provides a range of solutions and services tailored to local demand. The Group aims to drive local development through the services and solutions it delivers to improve living comfort for the greatest possible number of people. It aims to achieve this by forming industrial partnerships, creating local employment, providing professional training and taking action to support the development of local communities.
For more information on Saint-Gobain visit

For more information on the awards, or to access the portal, please visit Please email for queries.

High-resolution images are available. Please find the link to high-res images:

Source:: Africa’s Leading Architects Revealed!


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Siemens signs MoU with Madagascar to accelerate country’s power generation

  • Increase capacity by up to 300MW by 2019 through short, medium and long-term initiatives
  • Partner with TSK to investigate options to improve efficiency, operation and sustainability of the electricity sector
  • Commit to local training and job opportunities to create additional benefits for society

Siemens ( today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Madagascar to cooperate and identify measures to fast track power generation in the country and work towards increasing capacity by an additional 300MW by 2019.

The agreement was signed together with project partners TSK ( and in the presence of Günter Nooke, the German Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa and the German ambassador to Madagascar, Harald Gehrig, in the Ministry of Water, Energy and Hydrocarbons.

Other key aspects of the agreement include an assessment of the electrical grid based on the new power generation sources; applying financing concepts that will ensure the long-term sustainability of these infrastructure initiatives; and creating opportunities for local upskilling and job creation during construction and operation.

Currently, Madagascar has 676MW of installed generation capacity and it is estimated that access to electricity is around 20%. Opportunities exist to increase the installed capacity through hydropower and explore oil reserves to meet the targets set by government.

“The primary goal of this agreement is to increase national power generating capacity and to connect the local population to the power grid. A reliable and extensive power supply system is the fundamental prerequisite for economic growth, says Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens CEO for Southern and Eastern Africa.

“Siemens wants to support the sustainable development of Madagascar,” says Dall’Omo. “We are a company that invests for the long-term, and the opportunity for industrialization in Africa is now. With the right partner Africa’s economies can develop to their full potential.”

“Improving the country’s energy mix will strengthen the well-established agriculture and mining industry and emerging tourism, textile industries,” adds Dall’Omo.

One of the short-term initiatives is the installation of a Siemens 44-megawatt aero-derivative gas turbine (SGT-A45) for mobile power generation in Antananarivo. This unit is packaged for rapid deployment and can be installed in less than two weeks. It is particularly beneficial for urgent power needs or in regions with less developed infrastructure making it ideal for Madagascar.

Siemens promotes economic growth in Africa through far-reaching initiatives in the fields of Power, Transportation, Manufacturing and partners with customers to realize the full potential that Digitalization brings to these industries.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Siemens AG.

Media contact:
Keshin Govender
Head of Corporate Communications Siemens, Southern and Eastern Africa
Phone:+27 654 2412

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About Siemens AG:
Siemens AG ( (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2016, which ended on September 30, 2016, Siemens generated revenue of €79.6 billion and net income of €5.6 billion. At the end of September 2016, the company had around 351,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at

For further information on the Siemens’ “Business to Society” program, please visit here:

Source:: Siemens signs MoU with Madagascar to accelerate country’s power generation


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New AGCO agribusiness qualification set to develop skills, leadership and strategic expertise to drive African agricultural prosperity

AGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE:AGCO) (, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, is a lead partner in a brand-new training program being established to develop the talent to fill vital junior management roles in African agriculture and the supply chain – currently a major gap in the continent’s skills’ resource.

The Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 25 September to inaugurate this important new agribusiness course, known as the AGCO Agribusiness Program (AAP), with partners Strathmore Business School (SBS) in Kenya, Harper Adams University in the UK and Kenya-based The Bridge Africa which runs programs to prepare graduates for employment.

The demand for agriculture to produce more food from less is driving the pace of change in farming practices. The AAP is open to students throughout Africa and is a direct response to the need to bring young talent into the agribusiness sector in Africa.

“We are extremely proud to have established this comprehensive new agribusiness program,” says Nuradin Osman, AGCO Vice President and General Manager Africa. “As a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions, AGCO is acutely aware of the management skills’ shortage in the African agricultural supply chain sector. Therefore, we have taken the initiative to meet this challenge head-on with a long-term commitment to skills development on the continent.”

Scheduled to commence in March 2018, the AAP will deliver an accredited two-year agribusiness program through SBS in Nairobi, Zambia and South Africa for up to 25 students aged 20-30, leading to potential job opportunities within AGCO Africa. Going forward, the aim is to extend the program and offer the course using remote and blended learning techniques.

“This is a strong business-oriented program that will provide training in critical skills and develop leadership and strategic expertise to drive African agricultural prosperity,” Mr Osman explains. “It underlines our approach to ensure Africa is run from Africa. Upon completion of the course, students will have the opportunity to be placed within the AGCO Africa organisation, thus providing excellent job prospects. It’s a win-win situation for all those involved.”

Commenting Dr George Njenga, Dean, Strathmore Business School said: “Through this partnership, we are confident that we have the capacity to meet the needs of the agricultural sector. The program will integrate both theoretical and industrial relevance to address the current trends in the sector.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of AGCO Corporation.

Media contact:
Shlobi Maluleke
Manager, Marketing and Communications Africa
Tel: +27 11 230 8606
Cell: +27 82 040 7543

About AGCO:
AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) ( is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural solutions and supports more productive farming through its full line of equipment and related services. AGCO products are sold through five core brands, Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson® and Valtra®, supported by Fuse® precision technologies and farm optimization services, and are distributed globally through a combination of approximately 3,000 independent dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries. Founded in 1990, AGCO is headquartered in Duluth, GA, USA. In 2016, AGCO had net sales of $7.4 billion. For more information, visit For company news, information and events, please follow us on Twitter: @AGCOCorp. For financial news on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #AGCOIR.

Source:: New AGCO agribusiness qualification set to develop skills, leadership and strategic expertise to drive African agricultural prosperity


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MISA Malawi’s new website promotes the right to information and free speech

MISA Malawi ( has launched a new website making it easier to keep up with freedom of expression and access to information developments in Malawi and across southern Africa.

The completely revamped website ( provides in-depth analysis and commentary, as well as the latest developments in the media and information sectors. Importantly, it holds an extensive collection of papers, publications and legislation in the website’s Resource Centre (

MISA Malawi publishes alerts documenting media violations and victories directly to its website. This way, stakeholders can easily track the state of media freedom ( and freedom of expression in Malawi.

The website also includes a comprehensive Media Directory ( with contact details of all media outlets in Malawi from community broadcasters to newspapers and media training organisations.

“Free speech and access to information aren’t just human rights, they’re also vital to keeping an eye on what government and other institutions are doing and holding them to account,” said MISA Malawi chairperson, Teresa Temweka Ndanga. “That’s why we have spent months redesigning and reorganising our new website – to make sure those looking for important information can find it quickly and easily.”

To promote the rights to information and free speech more broadly, MISA Malawi plans to provide content in a diverse range of formats, such as video, graphics and text. The website ( works on mobile devices as well as on PCs to make it as accessible as possible.

DW Akademie (, a German media development organisation, provided technical and editorial support for the development of the website.

“With our support for the MISA website, we aim to help everyone, from stakeholders and politicians to journalists and ordinary citizens, know more about their fundamental rights to information and freedom of expression,” said Natascha Schwanke, head of DW Akademie’s Africa Division. “And also help everyone know why it’s so vital to support these rights and find out when they are being eroded and how they can be better upheld.”

In a country such as Malawi, where information and documents are scattered among different organisations, “having a one-stop-shop for freedom of expression and access to information is a fantastic resource,” said Sugzo Khunga, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Nation Publications Limited.

The MISA Malawi website ( is being launched with an event in Lilongwe, Malawi, on September 29 to coincide with International Right to Know day, celebrated around the world on September 28.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

Media contacts:
Teresa Ndanga
MISA Malawi Chairperson
+265 999 247 911

Aubrey Chikungwa
MISA Malawi National Director
+265 999 327 311

About MISA Malawi:
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi ( chapter was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media. To find out more about MISA Malawi, visit and follow us on Facebook at MISA Malawi (

Source:: MISA Malawi’s new website promotes the right to information and free speech


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