Lesley Lokko becomes first African winner of prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal

By Lana Sterling

Lesley Lokko, a Ghanaian-Scottish architect, educator and author, has become the first African recipient of the prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal. The award, presented by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), recognises Lokko’s outstanding contribution to architecture. The 60-year-old architect is being honoured for her work in making architecture more accessible to all.

Throughout her career, Lokko has been a vocal advocate for equitable representation in architecture, particularly for underrepresented groups. Her work includes founding the African Futures Institute (AFI) in Accra, Ghana, which explores the relationship between architecture, identity and race. She has also held significant leadership roles in academia and has been praised for her progressive approach to architectural education. 

The RIBA Award recognises her outstanding achievements and serves as an inspiration to young architects.