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Environment / Skylines

Podcast: Urbanisation without globalisation

This week we’re going overseas again to talk about one of the big themes of the 21st century: the development, or otherwise, of Africa.

Daniel Knowles is the Economist’s sub-Saharan Africa correspondent. He’s based in Nairobi, Kenya, but has a beat covering nearly 50 countries.

Dan outlines to me his theory that one of the big challenges is that Africa is “urbanising without globalising“. People are moving to cities like Lagos and Kinshasa, but aren’t not seeing the boost in living standards that earlier waves of urbanisation in Asia or the West created. The big question is why.

Incidentally, if you listen carefully, you can hear the exact moment when I realised I was interviewing another white English bloke about Africa, and started to get very embarrassed about it. You can also hear Dan’s cat.

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The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. Enjoy.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason. 

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