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No New City Will Directly Answer the Needs of Africa’s Urban Poor

When it comes to building new cities in Africa, reality sometimes struggles to match the hype. Hope City, a $10bn tech-city meant to house Africa’s tallest skyscraper, should have been completed on the outskirts of Accra, Ghana’s capital, by 2016. Despite earning awards for Roland Agambire, the businessman behind hope’s all-caps dream, it was never built. Akright City near Uganda’s capital, Kampala, was conceived on a similarly grandiose scale, with shopping malls, a 50,000-seat sports stadium and “a signature golf course with seeds for the greens flown in from Florida”. Plagued by debt and scandal, little of the project was ever realised. Last year the company behind it filed for bankruptcy.