Report back: Public Finance in African Cities

Programme Type: Public Discourse Programme: Mistra Urban Futures

Liza Rose Cirolia provides a brief roundup of the 2-day introductory workshop for the 101 Series: Municipal Finance in African Cities.


There have been increasing calls for urban scholars and practitioners to better understand urban public finance generally and municipal finance specifically. Whether one works on urban infrastructure, food security, or the arts, understanding the logics and languages of public finance will be useful. The African Centre for Cities will host a workshop with leading experts on municipal finance in Africa as an initial attempt to address this gap. It is expected that participants will have little or no understanding of public finance. Those with more experience are welcome to join and contribute to the debates.




Report back: 

On the 21st and 22nd November, Matt Glasser came to ACC to discuss public finance in African cities. We had a broad range of disciplines in the room and many differing perspectives on the challenge and scope for opportunity.  Day 1 focused on learning the basics and Day 2 focused on critical engagement with the topic, from each of our respective vantage points.

Undeniably, weaving registers of thought and knowledge was difficult. In addition, it was difficult to speak about African urban public finance, sitting in South Africa. However, the conversation was provocative, fruitful, and (most agreed) necessary.