2024 Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City

The US Africa Collaborative will hold the 2024 Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City in Maryland in the United States. The theme of the Symposium will be Sustainability, Resilience, Recovery, Inclusivity, Planning, and Equity. The Symposium will be open to housing and human settlement professionals, educators, government and elected officials, NGOs, real estate development professionals, and students in the US and throughout the African Diaspora. 

The Call for Abstracts is below!

The US Africa Collaborative's signature effort, which brings together students, professionals, academics, government officials, and nonprofit agencies in a dynamic, engaging, visionary, learning and teaching environment, is the Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City. Conceived by Collaborative members after expressing concerns about the future of housing and human settlements globally, but particularly throughout the African Diaspora, including the United States, the United Kingdom, South America, and the Caribbean, the Symposium concept was developed. The first 2022 Pan African Symposium, was held in Durban, South Africa, and hosted by the University of KwaZulu, in the city of Durban in the province of KwaZulu Natal. Plans are now underway for the 2024 Pan African Symposium to be held in the US on the campus of Bowie State University, the oldest HBCU in Maryland and one of the 10 oldest HBCUs in the US. 

Recognizing that an event such as this requires skillful coordination, a dynamic program, we seek to offer opportunities for international speakers, real estate development professionals including architects, engineers, builders, lenders, planners, human settlement professionals, housers, and  most importantly, students and young professionals. The Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City seeks to bring together people who have a passion and interest in the well-being of communities inhabited by members of the African Diaspora, with an emphasis on sustainable communities, community resilience, social, affordable, and mixed income housing, human settlement development, and the professionalization of those sectors. The Symposium aims to exchange knowledge, create partnerships for change, engage multiple disciplines, and explore opportunities for long-term future engagement throughout the African Diaspora. 


Call for Abstracts

Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City Call for Papers 12-1-23.pdf

Symposium Topic Areas

Topics and Issue Areas.docx

The African Diaspora refers to the global dispersion of people of African descent from their ancestral homeland, primarily due to historical factors such as the transatlantic slave trade, colonization, migration, and more contemporary movements. The term "diaspora" itself signifies a scattering or spreading of a particular group of people. It is a complex and diverse phenomenon, encompassing various communities and cultures across different regions of the world. The Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City seeks to bring together people who have a passion and interest in the well-being of communities inhabited by members of the African Diaspora, with an emphasis on sustainable communities, community resilience, social, affordable, and mixed income housing, human settlement development, and the professionalization of those sectors.

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on strengthening ties between Africa and its diaspora communities. Initiatives and organizations have emerged to foster collaboration, trade, and knowledge-sharing between Africa and its global diaspora. The African Diaspora is not limited to Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean. It also includes communities in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, resulting from historical migrations, the intercontinental slave trade and contemporary movements.

Sharing opportunities and challenges of the Pan-African city is crucial for fostering sustainable development, collaboration, and inclusivity across the African continent. The concept of a Pan-African city envisions an urban center that transcends national boundaries and functions as a hub for economic, social, and cultural activities, while also addressing common challenges faced by the African Diaspora. Further, the Pan African City also recognizes the importance of rural and exurban communities that contribute to its resilience, sustainability, and cultural diversity.

Here's why sharing these opportunities and challenges in a Symposium setting is important:

1. Economic Growth and Investment: Sharing opportunities within the Pan-African city can attract investment and drive economic growth. When communities collaborate and offer business-friendly environments, they become more appealing to both local and international investors. By showcasing success stories and creating a platform for exchanging ideas, cities can attract various industries and contribute to economic diversification. 

2. Knowledge and Innovation Exchange: A Pan-African city can become a hub for knowledge exchange and innovation. By sharing experiences, research, and technological advancements, cities can collectively address challenges such as infrastructure development, renewable energy solutions, and smart urban planning. Collaborations, such as the US Africa Collaborative and its activities, can lead to the creation of cutting-edge technologies and methodologies that benefit the entire continent.

3. Social and Cultural Enrichment: The diversity of cultures, languages, and traditions across Africa is a unique asset. By sharing cultural experiences and promoting intercultural dialogue within the Pan-African city, a rich tapestry of understanding and respect can be woven. This helps in fostering unity among diverse communities and preventing social divides.

4. Sustainable Development: Challenges like urbanization, environmental degradation, and resource scarcity are common across the African Diaspora. Sharing these challenges can lead to the development of sustainable solutions that consider the specific needs of each city while also considering the broader impact on the continent. Collaboration on sustainable practices, waste management, and urban planning can contribute to a more environmentally friendly future.

5. Policy and Governance Enhancement: Pan-African city discussions provide an opportunity to share best practices in governance and policymaking. Effective governance models, transparency initiatives, and accountable decision-making can be learned from one another. This sharing of knowledge can lead to more efficient, just, and responsive governance systems across the continent.

6. Empowerment and Inclusivity: A Pan-African city should be designed with inclusivity in mind, providing opportunities for marginalized communities and vulnerable populations. By sharing strategies to ensure social inclusion, gender equality, and equitable access to resources, cities can learn from one another's successes and challenges, fostering a sense of empowerment for all citizens.

7. Global Representation and Influence: A strong Pan-African city can enhance the continent's global representation and influence. By collaborating on diplomatic and international relations fronts, the city can amplify the voice of the African Diaspora on the global stage, addressing global challenges and opportunities with a unified approach.

In summary, sharing opportunities and challenges within the context of a Pan-African city is essential for promoting economic growth, sustainable development, cultural enrichment, and social progress across the continent. Collaboration enables cities to learn from one another's experiences, leverage shared knowledge, and work together to build a brighter future for the African Diaspora as a whole. Thus the 2024 Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City is focused on these very principles which foster, encourage, and implement policies and practices that address sustainability, resilience, recovery, inclusivity, planning, and equity.


2024 Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City Planning Committee

Symposium Program Planning Committee

We have appointed a distinguished international Program Planning Committee, that will plan the Symposium program, develop, coordinate, and implement the Call for Presentations, identify plenary and keynote speakers, select and vet the Symposium sessions and theme, and develop the Symposium agenda. Members of the committee are from the United States, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom. Other committees supporting the development and implementation of the Symposium include: Logistics, Outreach and Communications, and Fundraising.

Mrs. Elizabeth S. Glenn, Conference Chair, US Africa Collaborative, Essex, Maryland USA

Dr. David Abrahams, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland USA

Ms. Tanya Bansal, University of Maryland, Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, College Park, MD USA

Dr. Al Gourrier, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD USA 

Dr. Joseph Kamuzhanje, Harare, Zimbabwe

Professor Prudence Khumalo, University of South Africa, Muckleneuk Ridge, Pretoria, SA 

Dr. Sijekula Mbanga, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha. Eastern Cape, SA

Dr. Sandile Mbatha, Senior Manager: Data, Research and Policy Advocacy at eThekwini Municipality, KZN SA 

Ms. Margaret McFarland, Esq. Founding Director of the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development. College Park, MD USA

Dr. Samuel Medayese, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria

Dr. Malefetsane Danile Mokoena, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, SA

Dr. Mabongi Muvyana, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Durban, KZN, SA

Mr. Anthony Olowoye, Scotland, UK

Mr. Brien O’Toole, Community Development Administration, MD Department of Housing and Community Development, Largo, MD USA

Mr. Cuevas Peacock, New Growth Inc., Waco, TX USA

Mr. Stacy Spann, Wells Fargo Foundation, Washingon, DC USA

Ms. Henrietta Snipes, Opelika Housing Authority, Opelika Alabama USA

Dr. Brian Wasserman, Minnesota State University at Mankato, MN, USA

Ms. Odette Anderson

Mr. Brien O'Toole

Dr. Al Gourrier

Dr. Joseph  Kamuzhanje 

Professor Prudence Khumalo

Dr. Sijekula Mbanga

Dr. Malefetsane Danile Mokoena

Dr. Mabongi Muvyana

Dr. Brian Wasserman 

Dr. Sandile Mbatha

Mr. Cuevas Peacock

Ms. Margaret McFarland, Esq

Mr. Stacy Spann

Dr. David Abrahams

Ms. Henrietta Snipes

Ms. Tanya Bansal

Symposium Scientific Review Committee

The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) has the responsibility of reviewing all proposals, presentations, and posters; conduct the peer review process; select the presenters for the symposium; ensure diversity, quality control, provide feedback, ensure ethical conduct, and play the most important role in shaping the program of the symposium. SRC members review and evaluate abstracts, proposals, and submissions from potential speakers or presenters. They assess the quality, relevance, and significance of the submissions to determine which should be accepted for presentation at the symposium. SRC members often conduct a peer review process to ensure that only high-quality research or professional presentations are included in the event. This process helps maintain the academic rigor, professional best-practices, and integrity of the symposium.

Overall, the Scientific Review Committee's responsibilities are essential for maintaining the quality, integrity, and success of our symposium, ensuring that it meets its objectives and serves as a valuable platform for the dissemination of research and ideas in a particular field of study. We are honored that our SRC members have offered their valuable expertise in shaping the 2024 Pan African Symposium on the Pan African City.


Communications and Outreach Committee

Oche Bridgeford, Harrisburg Housing Authority, Harrisburg, PA USA

Paul Diggs, MARC-NAHRO, Aberdeen, MD USA

Michelle Johnson, Maryland Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies, College Park, MD USA

Char McCready, Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Baltimore, MD USA

Thando Mteto, Institute of Human Settlement Practitioners, East London, Eastern Cape SA


Fundraising Committee

Thando Mteto, Institute of Human Settlement Practitioners, East London, Eastern Cape SA

Odette Anderson, Department of Human Settlements, Durban, KZN SA

Irma Gorham, Paterson Housing Authority, Paterson, NJ USA

Coleman Jordan, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD USA

Brendan Boyce, University of Fort Hare, East London, Eastern Cape SA


Logistics Committee

John Papagni, Neighborhood Revitalization, MD Department of Housing and Community Development, Largo, MD USA

Regina Mitchell, Housing Authority of York, York, PA USA

Tanya Bansal, University of Maryland, Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, College Park, MD USA