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  • Writer's pictureIHS Alumni

Global Competitive Cities: Agricultural Revolution and Urbanization in Africa

Africa is ready to start its own agricultural revolution in the middle of a rapid urbanization growth. Around 1960, Africa was rural and only 20% of its population lived in cities. Nowadays, there are 475 million urban Africans, and by 2050 there may be 1.2 billion. According to World Hunger, it is estimated that 239 million people suffer from starvation, under- and malnutrition Sub-Saharan Africa. The key cause of food insecurity is the unbalance between food supply and demand. The food dependence of many developing countries has increased significantly, for example the Sub-Saharan Africa’s rice and wheat imports have multiplied drastically since 1960.

Besides, rural-urban migration in Africa has increased since farmers chase for better opportunities. The reality is that they lack the skills to compete in the labor market and most of them end up in poverty and living in shanty towns. Local governments would like to remove these informal settlements from their cities, however they cannot provide low-income housing for all. The African Development Bank states that urbanization in Africa has failed to bring inclusive growth which, in turn, has resulted in proliferation of slums, urban poverty and rising inequality.

IHS is offering to the participants and their organizations the opportunity to learn about the co-existence of urban-rural areas in order to create Agro-food clusters leading to innovation, knowledge spillover, and job creation. This is done through the refresher course ‘Global Competitive Cities: Agricultural Revolution and Urbanization in Africa’ in Johannesburg, South Africa, between 26th September and 7th October, 2016. This course aims to provide information on African cities within the global economy and offer an understanding on how food security is a prerequisite for African urbanization. Furthermore, the focus of the course extends to the urban planning and policy interventions to set conditions for urban-rural innovation, job creation, and social wellbeing in Africa.

So, IHS invites the NFP alumni from South Africa and other Sub-Saharan African countries with good English proficiency. Alumni are allowed to invite colleagues, if well motivated and to a limited extent. Applicants must have a relevant professional background and express good motivation for participation in the refresher course. The IHS aims to balance the number of young, mid-level and senior professional participants. To find out more about the application procedure and requirements, have a look at the following link

We look forward to receiving your applications!


About the author: Eni Bejko is a Marketing and Communications Intern at IHS, who is passionate about urban development. She has graduated in Economics from Bristol University (UK) and is currently following a masters at Erasmus University. She is currently working with Alumni Relations and hopes to contribute to reinforcing the impact of IHS on urban development, as well as the links of IHS with its alumni and partners.


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