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Governance and politics of harnessing urbanisation for Sub-Saharan Africa’s urban development

3 December, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm SAST

Visiting scholar Prof Winnie Mitullah, of the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi will present a seminar entitled Governance and politics of harnessing urbanisation for Sub-Saharan Africa’s urban development, on Tuesday, 3 December at 12:30 to 14:00 in Studio 3, EGS Building, Upper Campus, UCT. The session will be chaired by senior researcher Dr Liza Rose Cirolia.

Urbanisation in Africa has attracted attention of scholars, policy makers and practitioners, but problems of urbanisation are seemingly insurmountable and are not being adequately  addressed. African cities are rapidly growing but contrary to conventional patterns, the population growth is not matched by economic growth and development. This inconsistency has resulted in the persistence of spatial, demographic, social, cultural, economic and environmental problems, which have diverted attention of the continent to studying and highlighting the problems of urbanisation, and theories which explain problems. This has left a gap in analysis in respect to harnessing opportunities for consolidating urbanisation and urban development. The seminar is part of a larger paper focusing on harnessing Africa’s urbanisation for sustainable urban development, concentrating on understanding how the unique aspects of Sub-Saharan Africa’s urbanisation, existing opportunities and related disruptions are being governed for Africa’s urban development.

The seminar will provide context and review some of the explanations and related theories used to explain Sub-Saharan Africa’s urbanisation. This is aimed at setting the ground for exploring governance attributes and related politics which advance or undermine Africa’s urban development. A key question for exploration is how governance and politics enable or undermine tapping urbanisation opportunities for sustainable urban development. Transport infrastructure in the city of Cape Town and the city of Nairobi is used to dig out inherent governance and related politics which shroud the development of urban areas in Africa. The seminar will concentrate on the first part of this research which include review of context, urban growth, theoretical lenses and overview of mediation of transport infrastructure for sustainable urban development.

WHEN: 3 December 2019

TIME: 12:30 to 14:00

VENUE: Studio 3, EGS Building, Upper Campus, UCT

Professor Winnie V. Mitullah is the current Director and Associate Research Professor of Development Studies at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), and the Director Gender Affairs, University of Nairobi. She holds a PhD in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of York, UK. Her PhD thesis was on Urban Housing, with a major focus on policies relating to low income housing. Over the years, she has researched and consulted in the areas of governance, in particular in the area of provision and management of urban services and the role of stakeholders in development. Her focus in these areas has included an examination of policies, and institutional dynamics in relation to local level development, including that of devolved governments, Micro and Small Enterprises [SMEs], public and Non Motorised Transport (NMT), gender, youth and media.


3 December, 2019
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm SAST
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Studio 3
Environmental and Geographical Sciences Building, Upper Campus, UCT
Cape Town, South Africa
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