This lecture focuses on the shift of West African architecture and urban design from the colonial to the postcolonial periods, in particular in Ghana (independent since 1957) and Nigeria (independent since 1960). Specifically, this lecture will show the change of programs (broad distribution of housing and health, culture, education provision); technologies (emergence of local construction material industries and their modernization); education (emergence of new architectural schools in Kumasi and Ibadan, later Zaria); organisation of labour (Africanisation of architectural practice and education); and multiplication of networks of architectural resources beyond the former colonial metropole. It is the latter that will be taken as the entrance point for this lecture, which will follow the work in West Africa of architects, planners, and construction companies from socialist countries (Soviet Union, its satellites in Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia, People’s Republic of China). Their work will not be shown as an architectural “export”, but rather as a collaborative effort between “socialist” professionals and Africans within new projects of global solidarity that the decolonisation processes afforded.
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