African City Seminars Series – CAS/SOAS

Hi folks,

I know that urbanization it is not exactly our thing, but since I have been reading a lot about this for my last chapter, I though I should share with you. And the first seminar will focus exactly on your main question right now: ‘what do we know about urbanisation in sub-Saharan African and why does it matter?’ XxN

PS: Kate, last seminar is for you (you can’t ‘scape’!)

Seminar Series Announcement:

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 at the international
as nodal economic centres of production and exchange, the rapid and often
uncontrolled urban expansion poses many challenges. Existing urban
are usually inadequate to respond to the demographic pressure, adding
precariousness to urban livelihoods. Informal settlements are growing and
big challenges remain with regards to education, health, employment, etc.
Local governments don¹t 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

The Centre of African Studies at the School of oriental and African
Studies, as part of its African Seminar series, is organising four seminars
on the African city to look at some of the questions addressed by scholars
of the University of London. 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.


Thursday, 9 February

³What do we know about urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa and why does it


Deborah Potts, Cities Research Group, Geography Department, King¹s College


Discussant: Michael Walls, Development Planning Unit, UCL

Thursday, 23 February

³Urbanisation without infrastructure in African cities: Who fills in the

Adriana Allen, Development Planning Unit, UCL

Discussant: David Sutterthwaite, International Institute for Environment and

Development (IIED)

Thursday, 1 March

³Participatory governance in African cities²

Barbara Lipietz, Development Planning Unit, UCL

Susan Parnell, University of Cape Town and director of ŒCityLab¹ at UCT¹s

African Centre for Cities

Wednesday, 7 March

³Framing the African city: The Kenya International Film

Festival (KIFF) as mediascape²

Lindiwe Dovey, Dept of the Languages and Cultures of Africa, SOAS

Discussant: Carli Coetzee, Research Associate, SOAS

All seminars take place from 5pm to 7pm, in Room B102, Brunei Gallery

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

All welcome.

Thank you.
Sebastiana Etzo
Executive Officer

Centre of African Studies
Room 475, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London,
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Tel: (+44) (0)20 7898 4370
Fax: (+44) (0)20 7898 4369


Categories: Announcements, News, & Upcoming

2 replies

  1. Wow – I actually think the last seminar really is for me. Thanks for this Nara. I will be back in the UK for a brief visit then, so really can’t e’scape’! If anyone else might be tempted to join me, please let me know.

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