The child health implications of privatizing Africa’s urban water supply

Identifying policies which can improve water sector management is critically important given the global burden of water-related disease. Each year, 1 in 10 child deaths—roughly 800,000 in total—is the direct result of diarrhea. Can private-sector participation (PSP) in the urban piped water sector improve child health? The author uses child-level data from 39 African countries […]

Urban Languages in Africa

Against the backdrop of current research on the city, urbanity is understood to be a distinct way of life in which (in the spatial, factual and historical dimensions) processes of densification and heterogenization are perceived as acts of sociation. Urbanization is thus understood to include and produce structuration processes autonomously; this also includes autonomous linguistic […]

Urban Life-Worlds in Motion: In Africa and Beyond

Although throughout the history of anthropology the ethnography of urban societies was never an important topic, investigations on cities in Africa contributed to the early theoretical development of urban studies in social sciences. As the ethnography of rural migrants in towns made clear, cultural diversity and creativity are foundational and permanent elements of urban cultures […]

‘Men value their dignity’: securing respect and identity construction in urban informal settlements in South Africa

Background: Urban informal settlements remain sites of high HIV incidence and prevalence, as well as violence. Increasing attention is paid to how configurations of young men’s masculinities shape these practices through exploring how men build respect and identity. In this paper, we explore how young Black South Africans in two urban informal settlements construct respect […]

Rwanda’s political settlement and the urban transition: expropriation, construction and taxation in Kigali

Although still predominantly rural, Rwanda is one of the world’s fastest-urbanizing countries. This paper considers the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s (RPF) approach to urban development in the context of intense pressure on land and a stated long-term agenda of moving towards a future that is ‘100% urban’.

Urbanization challenges and housing delivery in Nigeria: The need for an effective Policy framework for Sustainable Development

This paper examines existing challenges of urbanization and the housing situation in Nigeria. The paper provides an overview as well as an appraisal of official intervention in housing delivery. It also provides the rationale for developing an effective housing policy framework towards achieving sustainable urban development in Nigeria. In concluding, the paper posits that existing policy framework…

Moving young lives: mobility, immobility and inter-generational tensions in urban Africa

Abstract This paper explores young people’s experiences and perceptions of mobility and mobility constraints in poorer urban areas of Ghana, Malawi and South Africa within the specific context of inter-generational relations. Drawing principally on qualitative research findings from a study involving both adult and child researchers, our aim is to chart the diversities and commonalities […]

Disorderly Dakar: The cultural politics of household waste in Senegal’s capital city

This paper analyses the crisis in light of waste management’s role as a fundamental urban public service, key employment sector, and visceral symbol of the city’s management. It examines how the institutional landscape of waste management took centre stage in a power struggle within the state that centred on reconfiguring the labour of ordering the city. At the same time, it reveals how the waste-workers’ union emerged…

Who will plan Africa’s cities?

Africa Research Institute (ARI) is pleased to announce a new series of publications and events focusing on cities and urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa. The first publication in this series is “Who will plan Africa’s cities?” by Professor Vanessa Watson and Professor Babatunde Agbola of the Association of African Planning Schools. Most urban development in Africa is occurring in a non-planned and non-transparent manner. Without appropriate…

The Informal City Reader

During 2013, Next City chronicled stories from the informal realm as part of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Informal City Dialogues. Through photography, film and well over a hundred blog posts, those stories became a running narrative of the lives of informal workers and settlers in the six cities that participated in the project. From those cities, we offered a window into the lives of street vendors, slum-dwellers, waste-pickers, even home-based beer brewers. Now, Next City has released an ebook…