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ACC Brown Bag – Living Off-Grid: Reflections from Ghana and Zimbabwe

11 April @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm SAST

Speakers: Percy Toriro – University of Zimbabwe and Issahaka Fuseini – University of Ghana

Join this discussion between Percy Toriro and Issahaka Fuseini, who will share findings from their work as city partners in the LOGIC (off-grid) project. Percy will engage the theme of ‘Electricity visits us’: the challenges of living with poor infrastructure and services in an off-grid settlement, with a focus on Dzivarasekwa, Zimbabwe. Issahaka will speak to the realities of off-griddedness and various assemblages to adapt to water scarcity and sanitation challenges in Tamale, Ghana.

These inputs will be followed by reflections by Hayley MacGregor (IDS) locating these discussions within the overlooked intersections between urban studies, the “infrastructure turn” and emerging urban food, nutrition and wider wellbeing debates.

This brownbag will build on the earlier conversations by Mercy Brown Luthango and Iromi Perera and the LOGIC (off grid) project, speaking to research in two additional project cities.

WHEN: Thursday, 11 April 2024
TIME: 15h30 – 16h30
VENUE: Studio 1, Environmental and Geographical Sciences Building, Upper Campus, University of Cape Town


Percy Toriro has over 20 years’ experience as a city planner, having been the Chief Planner for the City of Harare for 10 years. Dr Toriro also leads the Urban Planning Program at the Municipal Development Partnership (MDP) a network spanning 15 Southern African countries, engaging in urban development challenges. Percy holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town. His research has covered urban infrastructure, urban housing, urban informality, housing, governance, food systems and environment. Percy’s work sees him interacting with national, regional and local governments in different countries and cities. Percy served four terms as President of the Zimbabwe Institute of Regional and Urban Planners (ZIRUP). Percy holds an adjunct lectureship position at the University of Zimbabwe.

Issahaka Fuseini is a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, Ghana. Issahaka holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University. Issahaka’s research interest spans food systems governance, collaborative local-level governance, and inclusive urban development. Issahaka previously worked at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, during which time he was involved in multi-country, interdisciplinary projects aimed at improving urban food systems governance and nutrition security in nine cities in Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa. Presently, Issahaka is a co-investigator responsible for the Ghanaian component of a UKRI-sponsored multi-country research project (under the Global Challenges Research Fund’s Off-Grid Cities call) that is being implemented in five cities in Ghana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India, and Sri Lanka. This project seeks to understand how access to or the lack of infrastructure, broadly defined, impacts the food and nutrition security of marginalised populations in cities in the Global South. Issahaka is also a lead partner in a city dialogue, facilitated by RUAF/FAO, that is aimed at developing a city-level food systems governance agenda for his home city of Tamale, Ghana.


11 April
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm SAST
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