African Cities and the Development Conundrum


This 10th thematic volume of International Development Policy presents a collection of articles exploring some of the complex development challenges associated with Africa’s recent but extremely rapid pace of urbanisation that challenges still predominant but misleading images of Africa as a rural continent. Analysing urban settings through the diverse experiences and perspectives of inhabitants and stakeholders in cities across the continent, the authors consider the evolution of international development policy responses amidst the unique historical, social, economic and political contexts of Africa’s urban development.

Contributors include: Carole Ammann, Claudia Baez Camargo, Claire Bénit-Gbaffou, Karen Büscher, Aba Obrumah Crentsil, Sascha Delz, Ton Dietz, Till Förster, Lucy Koechlin, Lalli Metsola, Garth Myers, George Owusu, Edgar Pieterse, Sebastian Prothmann, Warren Smit, and Florian Stoll.

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Carole Ammann is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern and at the Institute of Sociology, University of Fribourg. She recently completed her dissertation—entitled Silent Politics. Gender, Imagination and the State in Kankan, Guinea—at the University of Basel. Carole Ammann is interested in questions of urbanity, secondary cities, transformations of the state, political participation, everyday life, and gender in West Africa and France.

Till Förster is an anthropologist. He holds a PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2001 he has been Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Basel. Till Förster has specialised in art, visual culture and political transformations in West and Central Africa. Since 1979, he has conducted field research in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. His recent publications focus on visual culture, social creativity and the postcolonial state, as well as on politics and governance in African cities.
List of Illustrations
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Notes on Contributors

Part 1: Introduction

1 African Cities and the Development Conundrum Actors and Agency in the Urban Grey Zone
Till Förster and Carole Ammann
2 The Politics of Governing African Urban Spaces
Edgar Pieterse

Part 2: Urban Governance

3 Urban Governance in Africa: An Overview
Warren Smit
4 Informal Governance: Comparative Perspectives on Co-optation, Control and Camouflage in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda
Claudia Baez Camargo and Lucy Koechlin
5 Why is Co-management of Parks Not Working in Johannesburg? The Difficult Reframing of State Mandates and Practices in the Post-apartheid Era
Claire Bénit-Gbaffou

Part 3: Planning, Politics and the Urban Grey Zone

6 Online Representation of Sustainable City Initiatives in Africa: How Inclusive?
Ton Dietz
7 Incremental Dependencies: Politics and Ethics of Claim-making at the Fringes of Windhoek, Namibia
Lalli Metsola
8 Towards an Integrative Approach to Spatial Transformation Addressing Contextual and Spatial Indifference in Design, Urban Planning and International Cooperation: A Case Study from Addis Ababa
Sascha Delz
9 Accra’s Decongestion Policy: Another Face of Urban Clearance or Bulldozing Approach?
Aba O. Crentsil and George Owusu

Part 4: The Rural-Urban Continuum

10 The Africa Problem of Global Urban Theory: Re-conceptualising Planetary Urbanisation
Garth Myers
11 Urban Identities and Belonging: Young Men’s Discourses about Pikine (Senegal)
Sebastian Prothmann
12 The City and Its Ways of Life: Local Influences on Middle-Income Milieus in Nairobi
Florian Stoll
13 Urbanisation and the Political Geographies of Violent Struggle for Power and Control: Mining Boomtowns in Eastern Congo
Karen Büscher

Scholars and policy makers interested in Africa, demographic transition, urbanisation, development policy, cities, planning and urban design.
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