Africa is experiencing an unprecedented urban growth. It is estimated that between 2005 and 2030, the urban population of sub-Saharan Africa will double and more than half of the total population will be urbanised.
While African cities become more and more important internationally, as nodal economic centres of production and exchange, the rapid and often uncontrolled urban expansion poses many challenges. Existing urban infrastructures are usually inadequate to respond to the demographic pressure, adding precariousness to urban livelihoods. Informal settlements are growing and governments often don’t have the resources and capacities to cope with these challenges and development interventions often prove to be inadequate to address the many socio-political and economic issues.
All these issues are increasingly addressed by academic research on Africa, in all kinds of disciplines. The African city has become the scene of extensive anthropological literature, socio-political analyses and economic studies.
The Centre of African Studies, as part of its African Seminar series, is organising four seminars on the African city to look at some of the issues that are addressed by scholars of the University of London, in different disciplines. The seminars will focus on some of the issues within the broad topics of urbanisation, urban governance and the city as a centre of innovation and cultural activity.
23 February: Urbanisation without infrastructure in African cities: Who fills in the gap?
Dr Adriana Allen, DPU (UCL) Discussant: tbc
1 March: Participatory governance in African cities
Dr Barbara Lipietz, DPU, UCL and Prof Sue Parnell, Professor of Geography at the University of Cape Town and director of ‘CityLab’ at UCT’s African Centre for Cities.
7 March: Framing the African City: The Kenya International Film Festival (KIFF) as Mediascape
Dr Lindiwe Dovey, School of oriental and African Studies Discussant: Dr Carli Coetzee
NOTE: All events will take place at SOAS, Brunei Gallery, Room B102, from 17:00 – 19:00 pm
Organiser: Centre of African Studies
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