Developing Africa by developing people.
Considering the way we are urbanizing, the world will be adding 1 million inhabitants to cities every week for the next 40 years. By 2050 there will be another 2.5 billion people living in cities globally, 90% of which will be in Asia and Africa. This has enormous implications for how we build.
The self-imposed limitations of our design and construction industry are in the way of the population surge of Africa. We can’t keep building the way we are building now - more than 70% of African construction projects are over budget and delivered late. We are also struggling to recruit and build a relevant creative talent pool for the future.
We can’t keep on building this way - and - we can’t delay learning and improvement in our people or projects any longer. We simply can’t afford it.
With the rise in automation, IoT, and all of the other new technologies, the jobs of the future are also at stake. We can’t reinforce technical skills alone - it just doesn’t make sense anymore. Instead, we need to emphasize change and learning skills and how to preserves mental balance in rapidly changing situations. We must be able to invent while we improve ourselves and lead those around us.
Today, the average school-leaver will have at least 17 jobs and 5 careers throughout her life. What kinds of skills do we need to develop? For the 21st Century, the most critical skills needed for dealing with high variability, improved quality decision making and developing rapid, purposeful learning will be
We know our current education systems are inadequate. How are we going to develop the continent and ourselves with broken education systems and outdated career paths? Where are we going to get the education to keep up with our futures?
We can only develop these skills on the job.
But, we need a framework. We need new ways of learning — and we need to bring others along with us.
Lean Built Environment - Afrika (LBE-Afrika) is a registered non-profit organization that aims to share knowledge and practices of Lean Design and Construction in the African business and built environment domain. Founded in 2018, LBE-Afrika seeks to improve the construction and design industries through Lean approaches to project design and delivery.
LBE-Afrika is comprised of owners, business professionals, the design community (architecture, quantity surveyors, and engineering firms), general contractors, trade contractors, and anyone with a passion to drive out waste on projects and improve profitability.
But that is not all that Lean is about. Lean is fundamentally an human development strategy - developing skills in critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication.
With Lean Design and Construction, LBE-Afrika aims to serve our industry by seeking out continuous improvement and efficiency gains in our projects, support the construction industry to deliver greater value for its customers, improve conditions for working in the built environment, and have lasting positive impacts on the communities that our projects touch.
Lean creates great capacity in our people and in our projects. As Africans we will be living in a century with rapid new and disruptive development coming our way — we are building new kinds of cities for new kinds of societies, and we can’t do business as usual anymore.
Join us as we develop our continent together, by developing our people together.
Co-Chair for Lean Built Environment - Afrika