Welcome to the website of the West Africa Built Environment Research Conference.
The countries in Africa are pushing for socio-economic development. The GDP of African countries is expected to multiply six-fold in the next 30 years, and the continent’s current population of 1 billion is expected to double by 2050. This is set to increase the demand for infrastructure and the construction sector has a role to play in helping to create a sustainable built environment.
At the 18th African Union Summit in 2012, the Heads of State endorsed the launch of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), a multi-billion dollar initiative that will run till 2040. PIDA’s main goal is to accelerate the delivery of Africa’s current and future regional and continental infrastructure projects in transport, energy, information and telecommunications technologies, as well as trans-boundary waterways. PIDA’s longer term goal is to enhance the physical integration of Africa, boost intra-African trade, and raise African competitiveness in the global economy. The construction sector has an important part to play in helping to realise these aspirations. This necessitates an increased emphasis on research in the built environment, as a key contributor to developing capacity, knowledge and technologies for the sector.
The WABER conference was initiated in November 2008. The original objective was to provide a vehicle to help young built environment researchers in West Africa to develop their research work and skills through constructive face-to-face interaction with experienced international academics; supply a platform for interaction among more senior academics and an outlet for disseminating their research work; and to serve as a vehicle for developing the built environment field in Africa.
The first conference took place in Accra, Ghana on 2-3 June 2009. This was the first event of its kind in the region and it brought together ~120 built environment academics, researchers and practitioners from mainly Nigeria and Ghana. Since then, the WABER conference has developed rapidly into a leading platform in Africa for sharing ideas on built environment research. The constructive feedback from annual conference participants and financial support from organisations provides the encouragement and means for sustaining the conference.
More than 300 research papers have been published in the proceedings of the WABER Conference since 2008. These papers offer some robust ideas for addressing some of the challenges and opportunities facing the construction industry and socio-economic development in Africa. They also provide a window into current research priorities and trends and, thus, offer an opportunity to understand the kinds of research work undertaken by built environment researchers in Africa.
Through WABER, many early-career scholars have been helped to develop their research work and skills. Our impact and contribution to human development continues to grow. The next WABER conference is scheduled to take place in Accra, Ghana on 12-14 August 2013. Please join us!