First female African winner for architecture medal

Lesley Lokko has become the first African woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, for her work to “democratise” the industry.

The honour is given by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) and approved by the monarch each year.

Ghanaian-Scottish Lokko was also made an OBE in the recent New Year Honours list by King Charles, who is known to have a keen interest in architecture.

Riba commended Lokko’s work focusing on Africa and the so-called Global South.

The 60-year-old has championed bringing people of colour and other under-represented backgrounds into architecture over the past two decades.

Lokko said being told about the Royal Gold Medal was “a slightly out of body experience”.

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