DIÉBÉDO FRANCIS KÉRÉ, architect from Burkina Faso, focuses on education as the development concept for his country. To this end, he has already built essential educational infrastructure. The focus of Kéré’s designs are climatic adaptation, low building costs and the local construction:“The community needs to be educated how to monitor the climatic circumstances and to use local materials. Only people who take part in the building process can maintain and spread the word about these architectural projects.”

While he was studying at the Technische Universität Berlin, Kéré founded the association “Schulbausteine für Gando e. V.” for the funding of his first project, a Primary School in his native village. The building was finished in 2001 and received the Aga – Khan – Award for its exemplarity as well as for its concise and elegant architecture, using basic, constructive instruments. The school is the result of a vision, initially verbalized by the architect and realised by the community. The jury valued especially the great potential of a project which helps the community to develop a healthy pride and hope and creates at the same time a solid base for its development. The fact that Kéré built a Primary School for Gando exemplifies his commitment to education. To him, education is the foundation for every social, technical and economical development.

Simultaneous to the Primary School  project, Kéré completed Teachers Housing, another school building and a library, so that 900 children could attend school in Gando. In the process, many young men were trained in construction methods, and are now able to find qualified paid work far beyond the region.

Diébédo Francis Kéré connects research and experience as a lecturer at the “Technische Universität Berlin” and as an architect in his own office. His research contributes to the impartial development of strategies for architecture with local character. As an architect he defines himself as “a bridge between cultures, between the technically and economically developed countries of “the north” and the less developed African countries (the south).”