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French firm launches young African architects competition

By Joan Akello

CA’ASI, the Venetian entity of the French architectural practice AS. Architecture-Studio is launching an international architectural competition in October to highlight the creativity and originality of African architecture and help it gain worldwide recognition.

“This competition is a unique opportunity to underline the important role played by the African world today, as seen throughout its contemporary architecture,” Martin Robain, the first co-founder of the institution and chairman of the CA’ASI Architectural Art Association told a group of journalists from Uganda during a week long study tour in France on Sept.16.

Robain said such competitions  provide an avenue of communication  for people  from  the architectural circles  of different  countries  and make dialogue  possible  between architecture and contemporary art by means  of exhibitions, lectures and other  cultural activities.

Amar Sabeh El Leil, one of the architects at the institution and a member of the jury said applicants must have a maximum of 15 years as an architect, be a citizen of an African country.

Applicants may participate as individuals, a group, or in collaboration with a practice; provided they are contractually committed to the practice’s project and submit a maximum of three projects on different themes.

Each applicant must have attained a diploma in architecture, engineering or Fine Arts.

An international jury will meet in Paris at the end of March next year to select winners and running projects that will be exhibited   at the CA’ASI  during the international  Architecture Biennale  slated to run from June 7 to Nov. 23 in Venice.

The best three winners will share a 10,000 Euro endowment.

In 2010, CA’ASI organized its first competition intended to award about a dozen of young Chinese architects and another one for Arabs last year dubbed the Young Arab Architects competition.

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