Urban Africa: Changing Contours of Survival in the City

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AbdouMaliq Simone, Abdelghani Abouhani
Zed Books, 2005 - Social Science - 305 pages
This volume illuminates the complex and constantly shifting social dynamics of African city making and human survival today. It explores how African urban dwellers have had to find not only effective ways of pursuing their livelihoods and other aspirations within cities but also ways of managing their interactions with often more powerful economic and political interests that seek to impose particular uses of urban space. Amidst very different socio-cultural contexts in Dakar, Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Kisangani, Jos, Zaria, Cairo and Marrakesh, the research in this volume focuses on the diverse ways Africans negotiate novel spatial practices, political-economic processes, and social relations that entangle place, identity and power in urban sites. While historically familiar patterns linking countryside and city remain, these are constantly being reworked as African agency gives life to highly diverse urban formations which are further fashioned through the geographically uneven dynamics of globalization that articulate with locally specific histories, cultural practices, and political contingencies. The result is an emphasis in Africa on city making through fluid and rapidly changing institutional structures, informal agreements, and finding innovative ways to interweave various sectors and actors. Urban change, as a consequence, is not a process easily managed.

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Introduction urban processes and change
Urban policies in Cairo from speeches on new cities to the adjustment practices of ordinary city dwellers
Feasts panoramas in town the spaces and times of the moulids of Cairo
Kisangani a city at its lowest ebb
The city centre a shifting concept in the history of Addis Ababa
At the limits of possibility working notes on a relational model of urban politics
Life in a highdensity urban area Anguwar Mai Gwado in Zaria
Ethnicity and the dynamics of city politics the case of Jos
Urban development and urban informalities Pikine Senegal
Formal and decentralized financing of housing Operation 200000 Houses Marrakesh

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About the author (2005)

AbdouMaliq Simone presently holds joint academic appointments at New School University and the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Witwatersrand.

Professor Abouhani Abdelghani teaches at the Institut National d'Amenagement et d'urbanism in Rabat, Morocco. He is also vice president of the Centre for Social Science Research.

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