The Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS) is a voluntary, peer-to-peer network of African institutions that educate and train urban/city and/or regional/rural planners. Our members are drawn from all regions of Africa, including the countries: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
As a knowledge network, AAPS aims to facilitate the exchange of information between African planning schools, primarily through digital communication and social networking tools. Furthermore, AAPS links African and international planning schools through its membership of the Global Planning Education Association Network (GPEAN).
Many African planning schools operate in a context in which urban planning practices, national planning legislation and planning curricula have been inherited from their colonial past, and continue to promote ideas and policies transferred from the global North. As such, many of these ideas and practices are inappropriate in contexts characterised by rapid urban growth and high levels of poverty, inequality and informality. Reforming planning education is therefore central to ensuring that future practitioners respond to urban and regional development challenges in a meaningful and effective way. Fundamental shifts in the content and pedagogy of planning education programmes are required. Promoting these shifts is the central aim of AAPS's project work.
AAPS was founded in 1999 with the purpose of improving the quality and visibility of planning pedagogy, research and practice in Africa, and promoting planning education advocating ethical, sustainable, multicultural, gender-sensitive, and participatory planning practice.
The purpose of AAPS is to support, promote and assist in the improvement of urban/city and/or regional/rural planning education and research at institutions of higher education on the continent of Africa.
AAPS specifically seeks to promote:
- Curriculum review and revision, to produce planning programmes that are contextually relevant and engaged with the needs of local communities.
- Collaborative and comparative research that emphasises the particular dynamics of local urban contexts.
- Shared comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing planners in Africa.
- Regional collaboration in progressive, pro-poor urban policy and planning responses.
- Resource sharing, capacity building and skills transfer.
- Liaison with professional planning institutes/associations on issues relating to curriculum development.
The mission, purpose, objectives and modalities of AAPS, as well as the responsibilities of its office bearers, are detailed in the Constitution that was ratified at the AAPS 2012 conference in Nairobi.