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Jobs and Development Blog - The Jobs Knowledge Platform > Posts > Experiences from the Field—Part 4: Using Ancient Techniques in Africa for Today's Problems
Experiences from the Field—Part 4: Using Ancient Techniques in Africa for Today's Problems
August 22, 2013 | Contribution by BAPTISTE CAMMARERI

Baptiste Cammareri is a Communication Manager at the Association la Vôute Nubienne (AVN)


Masons building a Nubian vault home in the Sahel. Photo credit: Association La Vôute Nubienne


While many development projects turn to the latest technologies for solutions, a Burkino Faso-based NGO, Association la Vôute Nubienne (AVN), draws on an ancient Nubian vault technique to help people in the Sahel build their homes. The project—"A Roof + A Skill + A Market"— facilitates apprenticeships with masons to develop an autonomous, self-sustaining market in affordable housing in sub-Saharan Africa. It was the runner-up for Most Promising Approach in the JKP’s Experiences from the Field contest (link to overview blog).

Baptiste Cammareri, AVN Communication Manager, told the JKP that the project is quite unusual in that it furthers development without creating dependency. He also emphasized the value of looking at how a society's elders once solved local problems, because answers to today's challenges often lie in local materials and traditional know-how. AVN (active in Burkino Faso, Senegal, and Mali) says that more than 12,000 people currently use, live in, or sleep in a Nubian vault building.

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