As African countries experience rapid urbanisation, there is a need to ensure that this process is well managed, and underpinned by strong public policy and social governance, to support economic development and social welfare. China has much to share from its experience of rapid urbanisation.
IDS is working with the Centre for International Knowledge on Development in China, Oxford University and African partners to assess the state of urbanisation in rapidly-expanding African towns and cities, with comparisons drawn from China’s urbanisation experience and China’s ongoing role in fostering urban development internationally, particularly in Africa. The research will investigate pervasive urban inequities through the 3 following lenses:
- the complex drivers of informality;
- citizen engagement; and
- technology and inclusiveness.
IDS brings a strong combination of cross-disciplinary expertise, innovative approaches, networks and approaches to support mutual learning regarding the management of urbanisation between Chinese and African cities. With plans to identify localised idiosyncrasies and regional similarities between urban environments, the study will carry out field research in four localities: the Ghanaian cities of Accra and Kumasi, and the Kenyan cities of Nairobi and Mombasa. The basis of the study will be qualitative Interviews with key stakeholders in the urbanisation process, identified through an extensive review of the literature. The output report is intended to be of particular value to both African and Chinese urban policymakers, and will be supported by reports by programme partners, Oxford University, conducting similar urbanisation studies in other African urban centres.