Heavier, more detailed works (e.g. from an academic or industrial background) can be found on this page (reading list for my master’s dissertation).
- Urbanization patterns in Africa are often portrayed as rapid and leading to a future of megalopolises, but these patterns are based on poor or poorly interpreted data. To know more about how and why this has happened, with a focus on Nigerian cities, read Deborah Potts’ “Challenging the Myths of Urban Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Evidence from Nigeria” (2012).
- Neoliberal reforms pushed by the IMF and World Bank in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in an increase in informality and poverty in sub-Saharan African cities. To know more, read Deborah Potts’ “Urban Economies, Urban Livelihoods and Natural Resource-Based Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Constraints of a Liberalized World Economy” (2013).
- The growing middle class in sub-Saharan Africa is a myth. To know more, read Deborah Potts’ “Urban Economies, Urban Livelihoods and Natural Resource-Based Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Constraints of a Liberalized World Economy” (2013).
- One of the first–and shortest–books connecting Western demand for energy and “Third World” food shortage is The Wealth of Some Nations by Malcolm Caldwell. Although it was published in 1977, it is still relevant.
- “How the IMF-World Bank and Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) Destroyed Africa“
Cultural Trends Relating to Africa
- Afrofuturism is a movement in art and literature that explores elements of science fiction and Afrocentricity. A good starting point is Lanre Bakare’s article in The Guardian: “Afrofuturism takes flight: from Sun Ra to Janelle Monae“. An example of it is the short film “Pumzi” directed by Wanuri Kahiu.
- Africa is a Country is a blog that “deliberately challenge[s] and destabilize[s] received wisdom about the African continent and its people in Western media”.
- Using architecture to examine power relationships in African cities — “The forgotten masterpieces of African modernism” (The Guardian)
Criticising How the West Talks and Thinks About Africa
- “How to write about Africa” (Binyavanga Wainaina)