FabAfriq Magazine

Women In Architecture Round Table Discussion: Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Architect?

The goal of the conference was to open up the conversation with women who have built a career in the male dominated architectural field in Cameroon in a bid to inspire younger girls to take up a carrier in architecture. The conference which started at 10:30a.m at Pullman Douala Rabingha on March 22 had in attendance female and male architects, students of technical related studies, the press and other participants from different works of life.

The two panel conference opened with a keynote speech from Brenda Chimi Wete, a female architect with 14 years of practical experience in real - estate project coordination , architectural conception/planning , building construction and supervision management. Her speech focused on architecture as a career option for both sexes by passing all labels or limits based on gender. She encouraged younger girls to be brave enough to ignore societal standards and achieve their dreams of becoming architects.

Panel one moderated by Maureen Ndih of Canal2 English was made up of 3 panelists; Nathalie C. Njoumba an interior architect  Mipo Edith Flaure an Urban Architect and the lone male, Chris Nasah Riba a consultant in construction and international development. The panel focused on the insight of architecture as a trade, what it takes to become a full fledged architect , related architectural fields, gender issues in architecture and an overview of the Architectural field in Cameroon . The 40 minute panel discussions ended with a question and answer session.


After breakfast , the second and all female panel moderated by Adeline Sede K. CEO of FabAfriq and Founder of the Corporate Women In Leadership took the lead. The panelists for this panel were; Brenda Wete, Director Ets .BC- DUB, Marie-Laure Eyoum, Urban Architect, Edith Mipo, Urban architect and Yvonne kemking, Urban architect. This panel focused on gender and architecture; the realities of a woman in architecture. The challenges that arise, the chances that are lost due to the judgement that a woman cannot deliver on a job as good as a man will, the difficulty caused by societal pressures, the clash between work life as an architect and being able to fulfill other duties like a wife or mother and a way forward to achieving success despite all this. Speaking on this issues , Yvonne Kemking said “No career is easy. No one has it easy...it may be harder for certain career choices because society has made it clear to girls from a younger age that literature , food and nutrition and like fields are what we should be studying in school. The power lies in you. Once you set your mind to it...you can be anything you want to be”

The conference ended with a very engaging question and answer session from anxious participants and a closing speech from the Founder of the Corporate Women in Leadership. Picture session, press interviews and networking followed suit.


This is the first of many Women In Leadership mini-conferences to follow which will address issues in various fields that women shy away from in a bid to open the conversation and encourage young girls that they can be different, think different, do different and still be a success story.





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