African Urban Research Initiative (AURI)

The Africa Urban Research Initiative (AURI)is driven by the premise that unless an active network of durable knowledge institutions, focused on applied urban research and capacity-building, is urgently established, most African cities will not be in a position to understand their urban development dynamics, let alone address them effectively. Stakeholders of AURI recognise a necessity for research centres in Africa to be networked, order to exchange knowledge, know-how, and expertise, and thereby foster a foundation on the continent of credible and resilient institutions rooted in local realities but engaged with broader trends.

History of AURI and ACC
The ACC received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 2011 to pursue a project to scale-up applied urban research and practice on the African continent. This facilitated an ACC objective to support existing and future Africa-based research centres, and thereby to inform and enhance the policy actors and networks responsible for urban policy and management in different African contexts.

In March 2013, the AURI project was initiated through the organisation of a workshop meeting held in Addis Ababa amongst a number of credible applied urban research centres. Co-hosted with Cities Alliance, this workshop sought to raise the debate and foster action amongst key research and donor stakeholders in the urban field, whilst establishing a shared understanding of the scope and implications (for research and knowledge management) of the urban transition in Africa. Participants at the Addis meeting agreed to form the African Urban Research Initiative, with a view to future formalisation, and with a Secretariat temporarily based at the African Centre for Cities.

Building upon these ideas and convictions, the second meeting of AURI was organised in February 2014 with the theme, ‘Institutional models of knowledge co-production in the African city.’ Since 2013, AURI has provided ongoing assistance and expertise to Cities Alliance in the development of their strategy for sub-Saharan Africa.

AURI members

Cairo Laboratory for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research (Egypt)

Center for African and Oriental Studies, Addis Ababa University (Ethopia)

Centre for Settlement Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)

Centre for Urban Research and Innovations, University of Nairobi (Kenya)

Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Centro de Análise de Políticas, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique)

Development Workshop (Angola)

Ecole Africaine des Métiers de l’Architecture et de l’Urbanisme (Togo)

Environnement et Développement Tiers Monde (Senegal)

Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi (Kenya)

Institute of Local Government Studies (Ghana)

Institute of Urban Development Studies, Ethiopian Civil Service University (Ethiopia)

Laboratoire Citoyennetés (Burkina Faso)

Laboratoire d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Dynamiques Sociales et Developpement Local (Niger)

Lagos Urban Research Network, University of Lagos (Nigeria)

Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (Sierra Leone)

Takween Integrated Community Development (Egypt)

Institute for Human Settlement Studies, ARDHI University (Tanzania)


Proposal for the Ford Foundation ACC-AURI