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Prof Amira Omer Siddig Osman

Amira Omer Siddig Osman is a Sudanese/South African architect/lecturer/researcher is a Professor of architecture at the Tshwane University of Technology. Amira studied at the University of Khartoum in Sudan in 1988 (B.Sc.) and 1996 (M.Sc.). She also obtained a Diploma from the Institute for Housing Studies in Rotterdam (IHS) in 1992 and PhD in Architecture from the University of Pretoria in 2004.

She worked as an architect in Khartoum during the period 1988- 1997 with various practices on small and large projects and was a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) in Maseru, Lesotho 1997-1998, as an architect with the Department of Public Works. She has participated in a number of projects in South Africa including a hostel upgrade and designs for social housing in Pretoria. Amira is a registered Professional Architect with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) and while her focus is academic and research-oriented, she continues to practice on a small scale.

Amira taught at a number of institutions for about 30 years, with 10 years at the University of Khartoum, 11 years at the University of Pretoria and 5 years at the University of Johannesburg. Amira contributed to the conceptualisation of the honours programme at UP and ran it for several years. She also managed the first master’s studio at UJ in 2012 which helped lead to the full accreditation of the degree in 2013. She established the Housing and Urban Environments (HUE_UP) research field at the University of Pretoria and at the University of Johannesburg. She also established UJ’s research and academic UNIT 2 “Architecture and Agency: DESIGN | MAKE | TRANSFORM” in 2015. The unit focused on the promotion of Open Building thinking and practice, exploring relevance and applications in the South African context. Amira’s teaching has focused on Housing and Urban Policy and she currently runs the design studio for the professional master’s studio at TUT.

She previously worked as a Senior Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria (2010-2012) where she collaborated with a team from the Department of Human Settlements, the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) and other councils and private sector representatives in the development of ten points for sustainable human(e) settlements which she proceeded to disseminate widely.
Amira was one of the conference conveners for the World Congress on Housing in 2005 at the University of Pretoria and the convener of the Sustainable Human(e) Settlements: the urban challenge, 2012, hosted by FADA, University of Johannesburg and partners. She also served as UIA 2014 Durban General Reporter and head of the Scientific Committee for the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA). She currently serves as a joint coordinator for the international CIB Open Building Implementation network.

Professor Samuel Babatunde Agbola

Babatunde Samuel Agbola is an Urban and Regional Planner with life long interest in Human Settlement Development and how this has been affected by climate change. He holds a BSc Degree in Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria and an MCP, MA and  PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He was the Pioneer Director of Physical Planning at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is currently the Chair of the Regional Committee for Africa (RCA) of the International Council for Science (ICSU) now merged with the International Social Science Council (ISSC) as International Science Council (ISC). He was a past Chair of the Association of African Planning Schools (AAPS), the Chair of the Nigerian Chapter of the Land Use, Land Cover Change Group of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) . Prof Agbola was one of the Pioneer Members of what is today the Safer Cities Network of the UN-Habitat. He was a Visiting Professor of Planning at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. He is the author of fifteen books, seventy–two Chapters in highly rated books published by rep12 KButable international publishers and over fifty three peer reviewed international and local journal articles. Most of these publications are in the area of Human Settlement Development and Management

Janet Cherry

Janet Cherry is a South African social justice activist and academic. She is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Development Studies at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. She has a PhD in political sociology from Rhodes University. Her main areas of research are sustainable development, democratic participation, social and political history, labour, gender and human rights. She has published two books as well as a number of articles and chapters in books on South African history, labour and social movements, transitional justice and sustainable development.

Dr Jeffrey Mahachi

Dr Jeffrey Mahachi is a registered professional engineer and registered construction project manager. Jeffrey obtained his qualifications from Wits University (PhD), University of Surrey (MSc) and University of Zimbabwe (BS Eng). He is also a recipient of an M.IT degree from University of Pretoria. Jeffrey is currently the Head of School of Civil Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Johannesburg and lectures structural engineering. He has previously worked
for the National Home Builders Registration Council, where he held several executive positions, worked for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as a Research Engineer and lectured at Wits University. Jeffrey has also been involved in a number of construction projects including sustainable human settlements and the roll-out of innovative building systems. Jeffrey has contributed to the development of standards and is passionate about developmental engineering and promoting innovation in the construction industry. He is currently serving as a Board Member of AgrŅment South Africa, Council for GeoScience, the Engineering Council of South Africa and the Clay Brick Association. He has authored and co-authored two books in structural engineering and several journal and conference papers.

Khululekani Ntakana

Khululekani Ntakana is a lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, department of Construction Management & Quantity Surveying. He began his career after he acquired his first degree in Quantity Surveying at Nelson Mandela University. He worked as a Quantity Surveyor in the private sector for 5 years and thereafter switched to academia after acquiring his Master of Science in property economics and valuation. He is a member of the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) and registered as a Candidate in both the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP) and the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Profession (SACPCMP).

Mr. K. Ntakana is a PhD candidate in Construction Management at Nelson Mandela University (NMU). His research interests are on Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Territories, Property Economics, Law and Dispute Resolution. He has authored peer-reviewed articles in the above mentioned topics.

Prof Ncwadi

Prof Ncwadi holds a PhD in Economics from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.  His areas of specialization are Public Finance, Money & Banking, International Finance, Health Economics, Labour Markets, Macroeconomics, and Applied Econometrics.  His research interest is in Public Finance, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship.

Professor Ncwadi is a former Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Management and Commerce at Fort Hare University and also a Director of Macroeconomic Analysis Unit at the Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury. He has also been a Head of Department of Economics at Nelson Mandela University. He is currently a Full Professor of Economics and a Director of the School of Economics, Development and Tourism at Nelson Mandela University. Prof Ncwadi is a co-chair of Pan African Entrepreneurship Research Council Editorial Committee in USA. He is a member of BRICS Academic Think-Tank and Athens Institute for Education and Research. 

Dr. Olufemi Ojo-Fajuru

Dr. Ojo-Fajuru, Joseph Olufemi was born about 56 years ago in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria. He holds a Higher National Diploma in Town and Regional Planning (YCT, Yaba Lagos, 1987); Post Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning (FUT Akure, 2004); Master in Environmental Management (UNAD, Ado-Ekiti, 2005); Master of Technology in Urban and Regional Planning (FUT Akure, 2010); and Doctor of Philosophy in Town and Regional Planning (UKZN, Durban, 2018). He joined Yaba College of Technology in 2005 and he is now a Senior Lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning Department of the Institution. His research areas cut across urban and rural landscape planning; green landscaping and green growth; urban design and development; environmental impact assessment; livelihood strategy and liveability enhancement; promotion of socio-economic and environmental sustainability, strengthening climate adaptation, disaster mitigation and vulnerability reduction, building resilience in communities; environmental planning, design and management for sustainable human settlement development. He has published articles in learned journals and chapter contributions to textbooks and has presented many papers at conferences. He is currently a Research Fellow in the Department of Building and Human Settlement of the Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is a member of the Nigerian Environment Society Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and a registered Town Planner with the Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC) in Nigeria. Haven acquired cognate academic and professional qualifications, he has been involved in various aspects of Urban and Regional Planning practice, consultancy and academia.


Robert Mongwe

Robert Mongwe holds a Masters Degree In Anthropology from the University of Stellenbosch (MPhil Anthropology), a BHons (Development Studies), BA (Politics) from the University of the Western Cape.   Robert’s interests are in the areas of Housing Studies, especially informal settlements upgrading, housing politics and citizenship, culture, development, and land.  In his current position Robert has supervised postgraduate (at Masters Level) in the areas identified above.  Robert attends national and international conferences.  Currently he is involved in a research project funded by the National Institute of Social Sciences & Humanities entitled “Imagining the Future of Land Reform in Post-apartheid South Africa”.  Robert is also the Convenor and Head of department and part of team who developed the Bachelor of Social Science in Human Settlement at the University of Fort Hare.

Dr Thomas Ramovha

Dr Thomas Ramovha is currently the incumbent of the position of Director Technical Capacity Development in the National Department of Human Settlements of the Government of South Africa. His educational Qualifications are: (i) National Diploma in Organisation and Work Study (factories) from Technikon RSA; (ii) Diploma in Municipal Governance from Rand Afrikaans University; (iii) Bachelor of Technology degree in Management Services from Technikon Witwatersrand; (iv) Advanced Programme in Organisational Development from UNISA; (v) Master of Commerce degree in Leadership from University of KwaZulu-Natal; and (vi) Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Engineering Management from University of Johannesburg.

He worked for organisations in private sector (i.e. AECI, Gencor Mining, and SAPPI), the public sector (i.e. Provincial department of Local Government & housing in Limpopo, Boksburg local Municipality, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality & the National Department of Human Settlements) and the State Owned Entity (i.e. ESKOM). His responsibilities were in the areas of Productivity Improvement, Organisational Effectiveness, Organisational Development, Change Management, Process Engineering and Capacity development.

Thomas Stewart

Thomas has been a housing practitioner since 1991.  He developed a passion for human development and residential property development while studying towards his master’s degree in town- and regional planning at the University of the Free State.  During his student years he was involved in various community development initiatives, facilitating the engagement of students in the broader community, where he got exposure to the social dynamics of a developing South Africa.

Following his university studies, he spent time in Public Service as a Town Planner. He subsequently joined the Urban Foundations’ Housing Policy Unit in 1991.  The latter resulted in project managing one of the biggest (4000 units) Informal Settlement Upgrading projects in South Africa, i.e. Freedom Square in Bloemfontein.

His housing development involvement extended to various towns in the Northern Cape;  Free State; and Eastern Cape, where a spread of Informal Settlement Upgrades;  Greenfields Developments;  Owner Managed (Peoples Housing Process);  Social Housing Projects;  and Retirement Villages has been structured and implemented by him, in his capacity as either development or project manager, employed by the New Housing Company (NewHco) and Inframax.  (1992 – 2007).

He founded his own housing development management company, Hadeda Developments, in 2007.  This allowed him an entrepreneurial space and exposed him to a wider range of opportunities and business initiatives.

On 1 August 2014, he joined the University of the Free State as lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and is the main driver of an honours course in Spatial Planning, Specialising in Human Settlements. Other than teaching honours’ and masters’ students he also supervises several masters’-; mini-; and full research dissertations.