Cities in Africa are currently experiencing one of their fastest growth periods in history. As such, there is a demand for qualified practitioners to implement projects in city planning, affordable housing construction, urban transport and water and sanitation infrastructure.
With increased Chinese investment in these sectors, Chinese practitioners are often engaged in the design of these projects. Their experience of providing housing and infrastructure quickly and at scale in China is generally understood to be a vital and transferable asset.
African cities require urgent investments at a significant scale. Urban design needs to be adapted to the local environment, and to Africa’s socio-cultural and economic realities. The Africa-China Urban Initiative seeks an opportunity to link African and Chinese institutions that are centers of excellence on urban research with opportunities to provide education to practitioners.
The Africa-China Urban Initiative is developing an executive education project to provide training materials, case-studies and short professional courses for practitioners working in this emerging field. The courses will employ case method teaching and participant-centered learning in multicultural settings. Courses will incorporate some of the innovative techniques developed in some of the most progressive business leadership schools.
Among the learning materials being developed are a portfolio of case studies that demonstrate successes, good practices as well as complex challenges and failures under local conditions. Case studies will be used in executive education courses for practitioners who will ultimately help shape positive outcomes in African urban planning projects.