African Cities Lab – call for proposals

African Cities Lab (ACL) is a joint initiative led by EPFL, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (Maroc), Sèmè City campus (Benin), the University of Carthage (Tunisia), the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and the University of Rwanda to contribute to sustainable urban development on the continent. The initiative aims to create a digital education platform and its content on urban planning and urban development in Africa.


ACL is launching this call for projects to produce MOOCs on African cities and urban development. The target audience is urban professionals. The MOOCs should be developed on the following themes and must focus on the relationship to urban development in the context of urban growth and changing urban forms:

  • Urban waste management and sanitation;
  • Economic development;
  • Housing;
  • Public health;
  • Water management/access;
  • Gender.

Other themes may be proposed as long as they are aligned with the scope and objectives of the ACL platform and this is supported by a solid rationale.

Transversal aspects to consider in the MOOCs include, but are not limited to, gender equity, disability access, safety, climate change adaptation and/or mitigation, land tenure and accessibility.

Main eligibility criteria

The requesting institution must belong to one of four categories:

  • An African public or private university;
  • A nationally accredited African institution of higher education with at least 3 years of continuous and visible operation;
  • A private company with at least 10 years of continuous and visible operations in Africa. The company does not need to have a local office;
  • An international organisation based in an African country.

The project must be led by teachers, researchers, tenured researchers or senior personnel in activity within their institution/company.

Collaborations between two or more institutions are encouraged. A responsible applicant should be designated. The other institutions are considered co-applicants.


The ACL grant for the selected project will mainly cover:

  • Filming and post-production costs of the videos;
  • The cost of producing additional external content.

The ACL will also help the project by providing support in the form of:

  • Provision of a common graphic charter for the different MOOCs;
  • Provision of disciplinary experts for further information on the call for projects;
  • Provision of experts and witnesses to work with the project team;
  • MOOC hosting on the ACL platform;
  • The promotion of MOOCs through its traditional communication channels (social networks, institutional websites, press etc.)
How to apply

The application must be written in French or in English. Applicants must submit their application to the Centre Excellence in Africa ([email protected]) before the submission deadline of 15th July 2021 (17:00 CET).

Please read carefully the application guidelines.


Submission Deadline

Interested applicants must submit their application to the Centre Excellence in Africa ([email protected]) by 15th July 2021 (17:00 CET)

Selection Process

Final decisions will be announced by September 2021.

In the event of a large number of applications, the decision date may be postponed and applicants will be informed of the new decision date.

Frequently Asked Questions


For more information:

Excellence in Africa

CM 2 200 (Bâtiment CM)

Station 10

CH – 1015 Lausanne

Contact: [email protected]

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