Informality as an urban challenge

Agenda 2063—The Africa We Want is a flagship campaign of the African Union. This policy argues for using the opportunity offered by urbanisation and the demographic shift to fulfil the vision of an African renaissance. With urbanisation firmly on the agenda across Africa there is a need for a constructive policy dialogue on what exactly urbanisation in Africa might mean. To support such a process the Cities Alliance secretariat has awarded a grant to the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town to establish an independent think tank dedicated to this issue.

“It is not easy to understand what is a revolution when you are living it.” – Gustave Massiah

In this video Gustave Massiah, an Urban Specialist with the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa, discusses the key challenges facing African urbanisation in a post-industrial period. Gustave sees the main challenges of African urbanisation to be those faced by the continent as a whole: inequality, unemployment and the resistance of external exploitation. He proposes a new conception of informality based on the dynamism and power of the individual. With no obvious answer to informality, society then has to ask what it defines as informal and what it can imagine for the future when it communicates with people and tries to understand their living conditions.


For more on the Cities Alliance Africa Think Tank read this post.

Photo: Johannesburg via wikimedia contributor Oxfam East Africa.



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