The new elementary school which was built after the plans of the architect Francis Kéré, Photo: © Mama Afrika e.V.

The school was built according to the plans of the renowned, internationally recognised African architect Francis Kéré. He had already built this primary school in Gando (Burkina Faso) in 2001 and received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004 and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2009. When building the school, Francis Kéré paid particular attention to the climatic conditions in Africa by ensuring, among other things, a large roof that provides plenty of shade, building blocks made of clay and good natural ventilation in the rooms. The school’s teachers helped with the construction, pressing all the clay bricks into moulds and firing them in the sun. The water collected from the roof is used to irrigate the trees planted around the school. Francis Kéré generously provided Mama Afrika e.V. with the plans for the building free of charge. 

After the school opened, it became apparent that most of the children were coming to school without breakfast. It was therefore decided to build a school bakery to ensure that every child in the centre receives a free breakfast every day. The Africa Festival Foundation covered the costs of building the bakery as well as the baker’s salary and the flour and ingredients required for one year. The bakery was able to start operations in October 2023. 

Two 5-year-old girls from Kankan who would have been genitally mutilated at this age – but thanks to the work of Mama Afrika they were spared this fate, Photo: © Mama Afrika e.V.

The festival presented Mama Afrika e.V. with the Africa Festival Award 2019 for its work and commitment. The well-known musician Moh! Kouyaté from Guinea is the musical ambassador of this project. He will use his music to speak out against this negative tradition in Africa. 

The entire project is run by the children of the founder, Tiranke, Aminata and Souleymane Diallo, who are personally committed to ensuring that children and young people can lead an intact life. 

Further information can be found at the pages of the Africa Festival Foundation.