How Mozambique’s rebel fighters wooed an urban electorate

In October 2013, thousands of people took to the streets of Maputo, the Mozambican capital, in anti-government protests. At municipal elections the following month, which were boycotted by the traditional opposition party and former rebel army Renamo, a third party called the Mozambique Democratic Movement, or MDM, won 40% of the Maputo vote, giving the […]

New city rail hoped to ease Addis’ transport problems

Ethiopia’s biggest city and commercial hub, Addis Ababa is expanding rapidly and is now among the ten largest cities in Sub – Saharan Africa. But with an inadequate public transport system and road construction underway in all corners of the city commuters face daily transport challenges and traffic congestion, especially during rush hours, when on […]

Development is urbanization. The case for regenerative African cities.

Urban success is related to three issues: location, location and location. The success of metropolitan areas is related to three other issues: governance, governance, and governance, says Professor Pedro B. Ortiz, a senior urban planner at the World Bank in Washington DC. Ortiz delivered a keynote address at the Future of Cities Forum in Kampala in July. This year’s […]

Yaounde city faces tough choices over planned motorway

Building a modern capital city based on existing urban planning and disorder seems costly and challenging to the Cameroon government as a future motorway project that will run from the Yaounde Nsimalen airport to the city faces planning stalemates. Building the highway will require demolition of homes on the road’s path and government will be […]

Bodas are gold in Kampala’s art scene

Many Kampalans might view the city’s ubiquitous motorbike taxis as vehicles manned by thugs who drive recklessly, but artist Kino Musoke thinks they are simply gold. For this month’s Kampala Contemporary Art Festival KLA ART 014, for which 20 Ugandan artists were tasked with transforming bodabodas into works of art, he spray painted a Bajaj […]

Zimbabwe’s pre-paid water meters dilemma

Zimbabwe’s cities, grappling with ever declining revenue collections, are turning the screws on ratepayers after getting the nod from government to install prepaid water meters. The majority of the country’s urban councils are wallowing in debt after the government ordered them to write off outstanding bills that accrued between 2009, when Zimbabwe dumped its worthless […]

Cashing in on the dead in Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, is planning to literally cash in on the dead. As the city grapples with dwindling burial space, a number of options for dealing with the deceased  are on the cards, including popularising cremations and establishing a cemetery for the rich, which would see revenue flowing to city coffers. The death […]

How women in Malawi are turning waste into wealth

LILONGWE, Malawi — As the sun rises, Norah Baziwell leaves her family home here in the crowded squatter settlement of Mtandire Township. Pushing a wheelbarrow containing a shovel, rake, pick, hoe, watering can, pail, gumboots and gloves, she heads about a hundred yards down a dirt road to check on her treasure stashed under plastic […]

Urban sprawl plagues Tunis

“The city of Tunis is in decay, all the solutions to solve its unpreparedness to shore up with the pace of its population growth are exhausted,” says Nabil Montassar, a Tunisian anthropologist. “I suggest that Kairouan becomes the capital, first because of its central location and its moderate proximity and nearness to most country’s governorates. […]

Dire consequences: Ebola taking its toll on Monrovia’s West Point slum community

Monrovia — In the populated quarantined West Point, Liberia’s biggest slum community located in capital city Monrovia, people were running helter-skelter on Wednesday, August 20. Market women scrambled over their goods as a soldier wielded a baton at them and told them to pack up and leave the area. The previous day government announced it […]