This volume is the result of a group of researchers applying their insights and experience to a common theme. All the authors are con-cerned with rural development in Africa and all have focused on the con-nection between the development process and the arrangement of people and their built environment in rural space. Both anthropologists and geo-graphers have contributed to the dialogue on this subject and represen-tatives of the two disciplines are included in this volume. The members of this group have never all been in the same place at the same time, and so have utilized various electronic modes of commu-nication to link their locations around the world. Two conferences were organized, however, among a subset of the whole, in order to generate a group discussion. One of these meetings was a symposium on African rural development held at Temple University while a second was orga-nized at the African Studies Association Meetings in Toronto. Both opportunities helped raise issues that found their way into individual chapters. The audience in each case further stimulated our thinking.