Urban Fold

As Tall Tower Trend Goes Global, Africa Aims High

As the planet slowly emerges from the global recession, skyscraper construction is surging once again. One area seeking skyline augmentation is a continent that has heretofore shied away from the height race: Africa.

"Across the world, the business of building skyscrapers is making a big comeback as the global economy slowly recovers and the pain of the financial crisis continues to fade," reports Peter Evans. "Supported by innovations in design and engineering and driven by the desire of town planners and developers to make bold architectural statements, these tall towers are springing up at the fastest rate since the financial crisis—and reaching new heights."

"Nearly 600 buildings of at least 200 meters (656 feet) in height, or about 60 stories high, are either under construction or in the planning stages world-wide, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The growth spurt will nearly double the number of buildings 200 meters or taller over the next 10 years."

Writing in the Daily Maverick, Simon Allison says that "Africa, finally, is catching on. Well aware that the title of 'Africa’s tallest building' is the lowest-hanging fruit in the architecture world, governments, companies and architects across the continent are eyeing the prize and putting plans into action." He looks at plans for a 99-story building in Addis Ababa, a 270-meter-high tower in Ghana, and the Symbio-City project in Centurion, South Africa - which would be the tallest building in Africa at 447 meters.

"This glut of new skyscrapers will redefine Africa’s skyline and perhaps challenge a few of those still-prevailing stereotypes about our continent being home to little but wide open plains and dusty villages," he posits.

Full Story: Skyscraper Builders Reach for the Stars Once Again

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