Reframing the Urban Challenge in Africa : Knowledge Co-production from the South book cover
1st Edition

Reframing the Urban Challenge in Africa
Knowledge Co-production from the South

ISBN 9780367694647
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
246 Pages

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Book Description

This book explores the changing dynamics and challenges behind the rapid expanse of Africa’s urban population.

Africa’s urban age is underway. With the world’s fastest growing urban population, the continent is rapidly transforming from one that is largely rural, to one that is largely urban. Often facing limited budgets, those tasked with managing African cities require empirical evidence on the nature of demands for infrastructure, escalating environmental hazards, and ever-expanding informal settlements. Drawing on the work of the African Urban Research Initiative, this book brings together contributions from local researchers investigating key themes and challenges within their own contexts. An important example of urban knowledge co-production, the book demonstrates the regional diversity that can be seen as the main feature of African urbanism, with even well-accepted concepts such as informality manifesting in markedly different ways from place to place.

Providing an important nuanced perspective on the heterogeneity of African cities and the challenges they face, this book will be an important resource for researchers across development studies, African studies, and urban studies.

The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

List of contributors




Chapter 1: Introduction: Africa’s Urban Challenge

Sylvia Croese

Chapter 2: The Formal-Informal Interface Through the Lens of Urban Food Systems: the Soweto Food Market in Lusaka, Zambia

Gilbert Siame, Douty Chibamba, Progress H. Nyanga, Brenda Mwalukanga, Beverly Musonda Mushili, Wiza Kabaghe; Garikai Membele, Wilma S. Nchito, Peter Mulambia & Dorothy Ndhlovu

Chapter 3: Formal-Informal Interface: comparative analysis between three Egyptian cities

Omar Nagati and Beth Stryker

Chapter 4: Dialogues on Informality: land sharing as a sustainable approach to tenure security in Kiandutu informal settlement in Thika town, Kenya

Peter Ngau and Philip Olale

Chapter 5: Urban Infrastructure and Inequality: lessons from Cairo and Johannesburg

Deena Khalil and Margot Rubin

Chapter 6: Weathering the Storm: reflections on a community-based approach to flood-risk management in Kumasi, Ghana

Divine Ahadzie, Irene-Nora Dinye and Rudith Sylvana King

Chapter 7: Housing for whom? Rebuilding Angola’s cities after conflict and who gets left behind

Allan Cain – Development Workshop Angolal

Chapter 8: Conclusion: Towards a Research Agenda for Knowledge Co-production in Urban Africa

Sylvia Croese


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Ntombini Marrengane is the Manager of the Secretariat for the African Urban Research Initiative (AURI), a Pan African, interdisciplinary applied urban research network, based at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Sylvia Croese is a Research Associate based with the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town and a senior researcher with the Univeristy of the Witwatersrand (South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning) in Johannesburg, South Africa.