Young Africans receive training in new building technology
• Dr Tokie Laotan-Brown (right), lead heritage architect on the Calabar project, with one of the trainees

Young Africans receive training in new building technology

A number of young Africans, mostly Nigerians and Ghanaians, have received training in green construction solution, also known as rammed earth building technology, that intends to reduce building pollution.

The green construction solution is constructed by ramming a mixture of selected aggregates, including gravel, sand, silt, and a small amount of clay, into place between flat panels called formwork.


The trainees spent three weeks in Accra, New Ningo, Aburi and Oyibi, where they received both theoretical knowledge and practical training.


The training was undertaken by the Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Nigeria (FOPCHEN), partnered by Kanea Kasa Konsult of Kumasi, Ghana, and the African-Caribbean Institute for Global Engagement, New York.

It was sponsored by Gerda Henkel Stiftung as part of the social impact NetZero Sustainable Housing Demonstration Project in Calabar, Nigeria, and directed by Professor Bekeh Ukelina of the State University of New York, Cortland.

The Founder and Director of Kanea Kasa Konsult, Peace Obeng Appau, led the three-week training.


The beneficiary youth were trained in soil selection, soil mixing, formwork building, installation and removal, and ramming.

Mr Appau said: "What we do here at Kasa is a boot camp experience for our trainees.

Everyone has to be hands-on.

This group of trainees showed passion, dedication and resilience, and I am absolutely satisfied with the work they completed during their training".

The lead heritage architect on the Calabar project, Dr Tokie Laotan-Brown, said the most important aspect of the training was to ensure that students worked on live projects, saying this would enable them to experience real-life on-site situations.

“The idea was to relearn ways of using earth in the African-built environment,” he said.

"Seeing the physical manifestation of the rammed earth building has excited my imagination, and I am thinking of other possibilities.

My focus is on how it can be done with zero carbon footprint," the site architect, Robert Utietiang, said.

Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Nigeria is an international non-profit organisation with a core mission to document, restore, preserve, and conserve both the tangible and intangible heritage of Nigerian communities, both at home and in the diaspora.

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