Where the Rubber Hits the Road – Future of African Cities Project

Building on its work with governments at the national, sub-national and local level, in 2015 The Brenthurst Foundation launched its Future of African Cities research and media project, which planned to identify how the African city can become a node of development rather than a site of despair. The aim of the project was to identify the policy options and path for a positive outcome of the demographic spike Africa will experience over the next generation, especially in its cities. It asked several key questions:
› What needs to be done to ensure Africa experiences a demographic dividend?
› What can be done to transform a city in terms of governance, infrastructure, and security?
› What is the role of technology, skills, leadership, values, media, youth, and policy?
› What is the balance between tools (the ‘what’), organisational theory (the ‘how’), and will (the ‘why’)?

The project aimed to outline where, why and how the city has been a central part of the development story in developing countries, and where it has been a brake on progress. Finally, the projected aimed to conclude with a series of policy recommendations for governments and citizens. The Future of African Cities project has both synced with and spawned a number of other long-term studies at the Foundation, including those which resulted in the book length publications of A Great Perhaps? (Hurst: 2016), Making Africa Work (Tafelberg: 2017), Democracy Works (Picador: 2019) and the forthcoming Asian Aspiration (2020).


Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: The Rise and Rise of the African City
1. Section One: International Comparisons
1.1. The Singapore Story
1.2. Indonesia: Infrastructure and Iconography
1.3. Security in Recife – Pact for Life
1.4. The Security Challenges of Rio
1.5. Curitiba and the Bus Rapid Transport
1.6. The Transformation of Medellín
1.7. Honduras: Urban Overstretch in San Pedro Sula
1.8. Summary of Observations
2. Section Two: African City Case-Studies
2.1. Lagos: The Relentless City
2.2. Hargeisa: Invisible City
2.3. Buffalo City: From Lifeless Economy to Lifestyle Opportunity
2.4. Mombasa: Gateway City
2.5. Cape Town: A Tale of Two Transitions
2.6. Rabat and Salé: Bridging the Gap
2.7. Conclusion: Between Wakanda and Dystopia

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