As part of efforts to grow Nigeria’s human capital in building and construction, seventy-five Nigerians joined hundreds of other professionals and students from Middle East and Africa for the LafargeHolcim regional awards for Sustainable Construction in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday, 8 September, 2017.
The awards which went to participants with projects in Niger, Uganda, Lebanon, etc is in its fifth year. According to the company it is a validation of its commitment to sustainability, innovation and architectural excellence. It represents LafargeHolcim’s corporate social responsibility strategy to commit the world in building better.
This year’s award ceremony was the first time Nigeria was taking part as a country, according to Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, director communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development at Lafarge Africa Plc.
“Nigeria is home to some of Africa’s fastest growing cities and the competition will promote sustainable projects and concepts the country needs to urgently address its peculiar challenges of urbanisation,” she said.
The regional winners in three categories including Main, Next Generation and Focus were awarded a total of $330,000. Over all, the company has awarded $2 million in prize money in each three-year circle.
The Gold Regional Award recognition went to Yasaman Esmaili, founder of Studio Chahar, a company that builds smart affordable homes and her co-founder Mariam Kamara They were awarded for their developmental project that aims to create a platform for passing on knowledge to the inhabitants of the region around Dandaji Village in Niger.
Fatima-azzahra Bendahmane, founder of Ecoactiva, in Casablanca, Morocco got the Silver 2017 Middle East Africa award for an elementary school and craft training centre in Morocco.
Joana Dabaj (Tripoli), Riccardo Conti; Matteo Zerbi, and team from London were awarded Bronze 2017 Middle East Africa for adaptive reuse for refugee education in El Marj, Lebanon.
Four non-ranked acknowledgement prizes were also given out to deserving recipients such as Andrew Amara, founder of Centre for Nodding Disease, Odek, Uganda; Steven Holl of Steven Holl Architects, New York, USA; Wonjoon Han, Gahee Van and Sookhee Yuk for project on Shea Butter storage for Nyingali Community; and TAMassociati for a filming training centre conceived as a cinematic series of spaces in Uganda.