President Mandela said in 1998 that Africa's long and beautiful coasts and abundant marine resources can contribute to improving the continent's economic, food and environmental security. Africa, being bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Indian Ocean to the east and the Southern Ocean at the southern end of the continent, is well endowed.
Among the major assets offered by the African oceans and coasts for the continent's economic, social and cultural development are:
maritime transport of coastal and offshore oil and gas
transport and maritime trade
coastal and offshore mining
inshore and offshore fishing
biodiversity outside the imagination and enormous marine genetic and medicinal resources,
These marine and coastal resources, like the rest of Africa's environmental resources, continue to be exploited in ways that do not benefit Africa or its people.
Challenges for Africa's coastal development include rising sea levels, coastal flooding and flooding, oil pollution and land-based pollution, coastal degradation including coastal erosion with loss of coastal infrastructure and domains, loss of biodiversity and critical habitats.
It is therefore becoming important to invent new forms of sustainable, open and resilient coastal cities through innovative architecture and locally adapted coastal engineering in Africa. The aim of this focus is to contribute both to the invention of the future with regard to the development of African coastal cities as well as the preservation of their intangible and tangible heritage.
This focus is addressed to any visionary and passionate person or team, to imagine systems of techniques and innovations, design, architecture, concepts and/or scientific models and engineering methods using both modern and ancestral knowledge and technologies, which will respect African civilization and cosmogony, local identity, cultural, social and environmental values in harmony with the way of life of communities and local populations while reflecting our globalized world.
While encouraging international teams rich in diversity around the world, it is however recommended to favor at the head of teams or project promoters, candidates with a great knowledge of Africa in order to support leadership, spirit of ownership and entrepreneurship on this continent.