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Next Practice Urbanization – an International Building Exhibition in Africa!

The GIZ together with the African Centre for Cities in Cape Town and the London School of Economics in Addis Ababa, explored the possibility of applying the principles of an IBA (Internationale BauAusstellung) in the African context. For over 100 years, innovative solutions to urgent local development challenges have been implemented by IBAs in Germany, and lately also in Europe. Is the IBA transferable for African government leaders and urban experts who need access to integrative, participatory models that can demonstrate how the complex challenges of urban transformation in Africa can be solved? Join us to discuss and be inspired to create change!

Anka Derichs


date June 29, 2022 | 15:15 - 16:15
Urban Expo: Urban Library room
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
UL 15


At this event the booklet "Building Cities for the Future - An exploration of possibilities for an Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA) in Africa" will be launched by the African Centre for Cities (ACC) and the GIZ. We are living at a decisive turning point. Urbanisation is developing at a historically unprecedented speed and scale, especially in Africa and Asia. The growing need for affordable housing will be a huge challenge for the decision-makers at various levels of government. The current decade will decide whether we will manage to set global and local development on  a just and sustainable track or whether we will continue to follow fossil development paths that will make social, economic and ecological life unviable. 

The need for investments and infrastructure to meet the rising demands of rapid urban growth in Africa and other parts of the world, alongside the imperative to retrofit existing cities, is pressing and considerable. Whether these will be integrated into effective and future-oriented urban planning and provide new perspectives for the largely poor and informal urban population is, however, uncertain. The continent’s challenge and opportunity lie in building future cities that minimize both ecological and social risks.

The approach of “Internationale Bauausstellungen” (IBA - German for International Building Exhibition) holds the potential of stimulating cross-sectoral and anticipatory planning approaches linked to the implementation of innovative urban regeneration on the ground. IBAs have been among the most influential instruments of innovative urban development in and outside Germany for over 100 years. In situations that demand urgent socio-economic change, IBAs develop model-built solutions for future-oriented cities.

The IBA-booklet offers insights on how IBAs function as an interesting urban governance instrument. It is based on the results of the GIZ project „ International Building Exhibition (IBA) Africa - Building Cities for the Future". The aim of this project is to develop possibilities, explore preconditions and topics for an IBA-inspired innovation approach in urban development in Africa, together with executives and stakeholders from Cape Town and Addis Ababa, and in exchange with German IBA experts and practitioners. The IBA guide is intended to serve as an inspiration for how the IBA approach could be applicable for African cities. At this event the experiences gained of these explorative processes will be presented and discussed in the context of future inclusive and climate-friendly urbanization in Africa. The IBA concept and existing examples are briefly presented at the beginning. The presentation of the document and explanatory film  (Building Cities for the Future – What Is an IBA? - YouTube) will be followed by an open dialogue between the project partner Prof. Edgar Pieterse, Director of the ACC, representatives of African cities and members of the IBA Expert Council to discuss the contribution IBAs can make to the implementation of the SDGs and the NUA in cities.


A wide audience of urban practitioners get inspired by the experimental format Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA), and its transformational power based on proven outcomes in Europe. International Perspectives on the future of this governance vehicle are gained that can further enrich IBA as a flexible planning approach. Participants get to know and share insights, inspirations and provocations on experimental formats in urban development in Africa. Furthermore, the contribution that IBAs can make to the implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda in and with cities will be discussed. 

Session speakers

Mr. Edgar Pieterse
African Centre for Cities (ACC)
Ms. Timnit Eshetu
Urban Age Task Force Addis Ababa
Mr. Jan Schultheiß
Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building
Mr. Andrew Boraine
Western Cape Economic Development Partnership
Ms. Flavia Gwiza
Rwandan Architect