A text book titled: Reflections on African Cities in Transition – Selected Continental Experiences has been written and published by a group of UKZN and international scholars and practitioners as well as masters and doctoral students.
The work – part of the well-known Springer series – Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development – interrogates the notion of African Cities in Transition, and the economic, socio-political, and environmental challenges resulting from rapid post-colonial/apartheid urbanisation and governance.
It details how as the African continent continues to transition from urban configurations inherited from colonial influences and history, it faces issues such as urban slum expansion, increased demands for energy and clean water, lack of adequate public transportation, high levels of inequality among different socio-economic population strata, and inadequate urban governance, planning and policies.
The work suggests that African cities in transition need to reconsider current policies and developmental trajectories to facilitate and sustain economic growth and the continents strategic repositioning internationally.
The Unit for Sustainable Urban Governance and Innovation (USUGAI) was recently introduced in UKZN’s School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, and this publication is aligned with the objectives of this new unit. USUGAI aims to address very topical and relevant issues related to the governance and management of cities and urban issues, and will focus on ensuring that innovation in this field will drive the future of reformed African cities of the future.
Co-authors Professor Purshottama Reddy and Professor Henry Wissink are members of the management of the USUGAI.
Apart from involving the input of international experts in this much needed publication, associate researchers in the Public Governance discipline Professor Sybert Mutereko, Professor Ian Nzimakwe; Dr Bongani Qwabe and Dr Sakhile Zondi contributed as well as masters/doctoral graduates.
The work uses case studies to focus on key issues and developmental challenges in selected African cities. Topics include changing notions of democracy; urbanisation and future cities; the city’s role in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), alternative models for local governance; urban regeneration and the impact of weak public leadership and corruption in local governance.