ArchiAfrika is happy to inform you of the DASUDA Nkomo Conversations Urban Design Conference on Accra to be held at the Children’s Library in Accra from 25th to 27th February 2015. This event is a series of presentations, discussions and workshops funded and supported by the Government of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency [of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (] and the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana. The event is a DASUDA initiative, organised with AAMatters, and Cityförster and local partners ArchiAfrika Accra.

ArchiAfrika invites members of the Ghana Institute of Planners to attend the conference, a continuation of the discourse titled 'Accra Revisited: How Creative Impulses Underpinned by Economy and Culture, Can Reshape It', held at the Netherlands Embassy in Accra on 9th January 2015. More than 20 panellists, speakers and members will attend, all specialists and contributors to the mission for positive development.

This conference aims to take a new approach to the study of Accra and its’ potential. We will take inventory of the natural and human resources of the old city, centred around Jamestown and the Central Business District. Many studies have been done on how Accra can become a modern city; we will use this as the basis for all explorations, to develop on existing policy and development projects, using design as the key for economic and social development in the old city.

Key areas to focus on will be the old Jamestown Fishing Harbour and how it can be reimagined as a coastal transport hub connecting the capital to smaller towns east and west. We believe that the economic benefits and other effects of such a project will not only benefit the immediate environment of Jamestown and the only city, but the entire country.

We will also look at existing housing policy and how, through innovative processes, we can develop a strategy of integrating new housing elements into the old fabric of our city, potentially a more sustainable approach than the blanket master planning that implies erasure of the traditional urban village.

We will explore how the old city can benefit from local resource-based industry which will create jobs, opportunities and improve the livelihood of the people. In turn these people will be the key drivers behind the growth of the old city from within instead of resorting to external initiatives which may show little relevance to the organic growth of culture and economy.

This is an OUTCOMES driven conference with relevant players from all sectors - government, finance, developers, creative, residents and shareholders, collaborating to develop implementable enterprises for growth, working off of existing development plans. As organisers, we aim for this discussion to leave a legacy of to encourage the following:

1. Using the ocean to Accra’s advantage: Using the available resources to develop industry which will spur economic growth; exploring Water Transportation along the Ghanaian coast and converting the old fishing harbour to a transport and cultural hub. We will establish a direction that can assist the Departments of Transport and Development to develop a transportation mode based on the ocean, something already in discussion as our leadership work on the development of Tema and Takoradi ports. This would serve to alleviate the problem of urban congestion due to the fast growing population in urban centres. Existing plans of key
locations will be analysed to explore how a sustainable strategy can be implemented in phases, showing how such improvements would have a huge impact on coastal traffic movements from Aflao to Axim. A discussion with DASUDA and other Dutch contributors around this will be of great use.

2. Create a portal connecting cultural and development activities in Accra.

3. Archive growth and development strategies from colonial to contemporary Accra. This is supported by a program with TU Delft students participating in an archiving exercise facilitated by ArchiAfrika Accra and covering all aspects of Accra’s existence; structural, cultural and economic.