Focus on the African City: past, present, future

The ASCL is increasingly focusing attention on urbanisation in Africa, organising two major events in the coming weeks that deal with the African city: the conference ‘The future of the African City’ on 24 January (co-organised with African Architecture Matters) where present and future challenges of the African city will be discussed; and the ASCL seminar ‘Before Johannesburg; a newly discovered Tswana city from around AD 1800’ to be given by Prof. Karim Sadr (University of Witwatersrand) on 31 January, focusing on the early urban settlement he has discovered near Johannesburg.

Kampala24 January: The Future of the African City

The conference on 24 January aims to explore and contribute to the debate on the possibilities and problems of growing African cities, with speeches by Prof. Filip de Boeck (KU Leuven), Nnamdi Elleh (University of Witwatersrand), Ronald Wall (University of Witwatersrand), and OluTimehin Adegbeye (writer and activist). The afternoon programme includes the presentation of the Ng’ambo Atlas to the Ambassador of Tanzania in the Netherlands. Ng’ambo is the lesser known ‘Other Side’ of Zanzibar Town. During the British Protectorate the area was designated as the ‘Native Quarters’, today it is set to become the new city centre of Zanzibar’s capital. The atlas presents over hundred years of Ng’ambo’s history and urban development through maps, plans, surveys and images. 

31 January: Before Johannesburg: A newly discovered pre-colonial city 

In the ASCL seminar ‘Before Johannesburg; a newly discovered Tswana city from around AD 1800’ on 31 January, Prof. Karim Sadr (University of Witwatersrand) will elaborate on the pre-colonial city he has discovered in the western foothills of the Suikerbosrand massif, some 30 km south of Johannesburg. The hundreds of Molokwane-style homesteads, large livestock enclosures, monumental ash heaps, stone towers, and other impressive architectural features attest to the economic wealth and political importance of this city during its classic phase of occupation. 
Read about the ASCL Seminar.