In 2015, Aurecon in South Africa crystalised its winning aspiration as being future ready, proudly South African and an agent for change. Together, these three aspirations established our directive to take a leading position in shaping the engineering landscape with respect to transformation, innovation and technology while supporting government to create a better life for all South Africans.
The concept of Our African City and the need to create a collaborative multi-stakeholder dialogue around inclusive transformation stemmed from a question that began reverberating within the organisation - what does a future African city look like?
The seeds for this thinking had actually begun the year before when we started to think about what a transformed and prosperous African continent would look like if the objectives of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) were achieved. Having worked on several developmental projects including aspects of the PIDA project itself, we realised that good policies were emerging that could unlock Africa’s huge potential.
We also realised that governments alone could not achieve the frameworks, visions and strategies they were drafting without the collaboration of all sectors of society. In particular, the private sector and government needed to view one another as partners and not adversaries.
As a global firm with strong roots in the continent, it was also understood that everyone on this continent has a shared fate. Aurecon’s success is tied to Africa’s success and development. It was also the understanding that in policy implementation, we need new ways of thinking that are locally relevant and that can allow us to take giant leaps on our own development path by learning from the mistakes of others, adapting technology to our needs and correcting the structural issues that lead to unemployment, inequality and poverty.
We know that Africa has the intellectual capacity, passion and understanding to innovate our challenges into opportunities. This is why we initiated a dialogue owned by Africans for Africans.
In the coming months, Aurecon will be committing resources to developing new thinking on topics related to integrated urban development.