A talk about African Urbanization through the Next Economy Lens.

IABR–2016 pays special attention to cities in developing countries where the creation of employment for young people is extremely urgent. Africa, where the vast majority of urbanites are trapped in vulnerable and informal work, is a clear example. The situation there, already urgent, becomes almost unthinkable if one considers that Africa’s urban population will increase threefold to 1.2 billion by 2050. This begs a number of questions: How can all these entrants to the labor market in Africa, India, and elsewhere in the global South find decent employment if the current economic model is not radically changed? Can we use spatial design to offer the hundreds of millions of people who live precariously the opportunity to participate in the Next Economy in a dignified manner? Edgar Pieterse explores these and other urgencies.

Edgar Pieterse is Professor at the University of Cape Town and holds the South African Research Chair in Urban Policy. Furthermore, he is director of the African Centre for Cities, set up to fill the hiatus of sustained scholarship on the existential and cultural dimensions of African urbanism. He is editor of the Journal CityScapes and rates as one of the most knowledgeable thinkers on African urbanization.