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Anyone Interested in East Africa’s Dynamic Urbanisation Process should have this Book

At the start of the 2000s, Addis Ababa, Kampala and Kigali were some of the least urbanised cities in the region. And, for different reasons, they didn’t command much attention from national policy makers. Fast forward to 2023, and all three cities are undergoing an urban transformation that has little historical precedence in terms of speed or scale. They have become, for differing reasons, central to national, regional and in some senses even global, policy making. Based simply on this fact, the cities are unique. The histories that shaped them include their colonial pasts, or resistance to it in the case of Ethiopia, their struggles for independence and post independence political and economic policies. Tom Goodfellow’s recently published book, Politics and the Urban Frontier: Transformation and Divergence in Late Urbanizing East Africa, brings astonishing new facts about Kampala. And a great deal about the urbanisation processes of two other major East African cities – Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.