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Chapter Summary

On a daily basis, the media and bodies such as the Commission for Africa and United Nations agencies stress the new urbanisation and predict the coming of Africa as an urban continent. Cities have been transformed into megacities and new urban spaces have emerged, such as Touba in Senegal, alongside much older settlements like Mogadisho in Somalia. Urbanisation without development is what has contributed to the image of African cities as degrading, irrecoverable and hopeless places. Rapid urbanisation is often linked to the problem of rural underdevelopment; scarcity of resources is frequently associated with environmental problems and political inefficacy of ruling classes. A rural-urban dichotomy lies at the root of effort to shape African urbanism throughout the twentieth century, especially in former settler colonies, thereby generating new forms of poverty. Other forms of settlements and mechanism of production and subsistence have been created at the outskirts of African cities.

Keywords: Africa; United Nations; urbanisation



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