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Kigali International Forum on Cultural Spaces


Event, Workshop



AAmatters team

Berend van der Lans


Rwanda Arts Initiative


University of Rwanda

Uganda Martyrs University

University of Cape Town

Relevant links

Bozar activities

Rwanda Arts Initiative

For registration


#culture #creativeindustry #exchange #adaptivereuse #creativenetwork #urbanplanning #culturalmapping #culturalinfrastructure #businessmodels

The city of Kigali is growing as a business, convention, tourism and investment destination. Its national, regional and international capital status deserves a cultural offer on par with its economic achievements and ambitions. Adequate central cultural infrastructure for cultural expression and creativity, accessible to creative industries professionals and consumers, can reinforce Rwandan cultural identity and allow Kigali to become a vibrant cultural capital.

The international forum is initiated to discuss the role of culture in the urban environment, the challenges existing in Kigali in particular, and the opportunities offered by adaptive reuse of abandoned buildings.


The forum is organized by and with Rwandan stakeholders along with invited multidisciplinary expertise from the continent and beyond, who all share a belief that culture and creativity are essential in the urban construct, as drivers for development. The forum thus brings together stakeholders from the creative, the public and the private sector and also includes a public cultural event.


The forum addresses the role of cultural infrastructure in sustainable urban development, and the essential role that adaptive re-use of existing buildings plays in this.  After the presentations of key reference cases from the continent and beyond, the forum focuses on the recently-vacated Kigali buildings and how they could become an important node in the cultural infrastructure of the city. What is the potential and how can such a project become feasible? A feasibility study presenting adaptive re-use and management models based on fruitful mixes of cultural and commercial uses. Various scenarios, developed in a workshop with students from Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa are illustrating this. The forum's ultimate aim is to lead to an agenda for the creation of a cultural infrastructure. 


The programme includes a keynote presentation from Porf. Lesley Lokko from the University of Johannesburg, presentations from representatives from the Rwandan creative sector, with among others actress Carole Karemera, architect Christian Benimana, filmmaker Joel Karekezi, fashion designer Cedric Mizero, cultural entrepreneur Amin Gafaranga, choreographer Wesley Ruzibiza, poet/slam artist Lion King, visual artist Epa Binamungu and presentations from reference projects from Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Hamburg, Lagos, Douala, Accra and Brussels.

AAmatters is involved in the programming of the workshop and forum, in research, developing a feasibility study for adaptive reuse for a cultural centre, including a business model.  

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