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Geographies of Change

Richard Grant

Publication Date - 15 July 2014

ISBN: 9780199920563

368 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The most focused, balanced, and realistic portrait of modern Africa


Population growth, business interests, and global connections are transforming Africa from a "lost" continent to one of "strategic opportunity" in the worldwide geopolitical sphere. A timely synthesis of current thinking on this diverse, complex, and changing region, Africa: Geographies of Change offers students the most realistic portrait of modern Africa available.

Integrating material on China in Africa, the mobile-phone revolution, the Millennium Development Goals, sustainable development, "land and water grabs," food security, informal livelihoods, the "Green Revolution," and new satellite cities, this text adopts a realistically optimistic narrative that focuses on Africa's burgeoning cities. By using case studies to highlight important topics, Africa: Geographies of Change incorporates new perspectives from urban studies, public health, political geography, and sustainable development in order to provide a more nuanced understanding of African issues.

*Integrated cutting-edge topics--such as China in Africa, the mobile-phone revolution, sustainable development, informal livelihoods, and food security--keep the text relevant and thought-provoking
*Emphasis on contemporary Africa motivates students to consider alternative and more positive possibilities for African development
*Historical knowledge underpins the assessment of contemporary issues and helps students to envision future development and policy outcomes
*Uniquely African perspectives enhance each chapter
*Carefully selected sidebars and case studies vividly illustrate the topics being discussed

About the Author(s)

Richard Grant is Professor of Geography and Regional Studies at the University of Miami. He is also Adjunct Senior Research Scientist to the Earth Institute's Millennium Cities Initiative at Columbia University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1 Introduction
    Setting the African Stage
    The Urban Revolution and Emerging Rural Revolution in Africa
    The Concept of "Africa"
    How to Write About Africa? sidebar
    The "New Africa" Growth Story
    Urbanization in Small Towns in East Africa sidebar
    Africa as a Millennium Development Frontier
    Urbanization in Africa in Consideration

    Chapter 2 Reframing and Rerepresenting African Affairs
    Representing Africa: The Darkness Legacy
    "The Coming Anarchy" sidebar
    Moving from a World of Shadows into Splintering Light
    Social Media: Africa Reporting, Blogging Africa, and Africa Podcasting
    Africans' Revisioning of Africa
    Unchaining Africa
    Ending the Looting of Africa
    Political Leadership
    Environmentalism of the Poor and Sustainable Development
    Ending Aid?
    Civil Society
    African Postcolonial Urbanists

    Chapter 3 Africa's Environments
    The Environment and International Development Agendas
    The Diversity of African Environments
    Africa's Rainfall and Climate Change
    Africa's Mineral Resources
    The Resource Curse or Cure? sidebar
    Coltan sidebar
    Environments of Africa's Fisheries
    Somali Pirates: Responding to Africa's Fish Rush? sidebar
    Human Environments
    Urban Environments and Ecological Footprints

    Chapter 4 The "Scramble for Africa" and the State of European Geographic Knowledge on the Region
    Mary Kingsley (1862-1900) sidebar
    Timbuktu: Colonial Escapades and Unanswered Questions
    Colonial Motivations
    Africa's Urban Past
    "Great Zimbabwe": An Urban History Almost Forgotten sidebar
    Colonial Legacies
    Geographies of Empire
    The Bungalow sidebar
    Urban Development and Planning the Colonial City

    Chapter 5 Rural Africa
    Rural Development Themes and Policy Emphases: The Elusive Quest For Sustained Development
    The Green Revolution
    Africa's Failed Green Revolution
    Africa's New Green Revolution
    Genetically Modified (GM) Crops
    African Millennium Villages sidebar
    Rural Livelihoods: A Challenge to the Primacy of Small Farms?
    Pro-Poor Tourism Best Practices from Rural South Africa: Making African Game Parks Work for the Local Poor sidebar
    Gender in Rural Africa
    Girls in Rural Africa: Invisible Members of Society

    Chapter 6 Africa's Mobile Phone Revolution: Informal Economy, Creativity and Informal Spaces
    The Last Forty Years of Informal Economy Evolution and Sophistication in Africa
    Major Informal Economy Debates
    The African Informal Economy on the Ground
    International Informal Economy Entanglements: E-Waste in Africa sidebar
    The Diversity of Informal Workers, Soweto Township, South Africa sidebar
    Dynamism, Creativity and Informality
    Mobile Phones: "The New Talking Drums" of Everyday Africa
    Ushahidi: Built in Africa for the World
    Designing Sustainable Prototypes for Africa's Informals
    Community-Led Enumerations and Mapping: Counting Lives and Building Community in Kibera, Kenya sidebar
    Slum Tourism and Shack Chic: Are They Good Ideas? sidebar

    Chapter 7 Migration
    African Athletes and Global Sports Recruitment sidebar
    Colonial Policies and Migration
    Circular Migration
    Burkina Faso: Circular Migration in Time and Space sidebar
    Forced Migrants: Refugees and IDPs
    The Johannesburg Hub: How Many Foreigners Are Present? sidebar
    Migrant Remittances to Africa
    The Hawala System of Transfer in the Horn of Africa sidebar
    Transnational Houses sidebar
    Human Trafficking and Smuggling
    "Migrant Journeys in Pursuit of the South African Dream" sidebar
    Out of Africa: US and European Movements

    Chapter 8 Water
    Africa's Water
    Water and Sanitation: Colonialism to the Present
    Indigenous Knowledge of Water sidebar
    Water Grabbing sidebar
    Water and Poverty
    Transboundary Water Issues
    Virtual Water
    Water Footprint of Cut Flowers in Kenya: What Is the True Cost? sidebar

    Chapter 9 Health
    Technology Bright Spots in Health Arenas sidebar
    Africa's Disease Burden
    Africa's Health Data Lacuna
    Sickness and Health: The Colonial Legacies of Inherited Health Systems
    The Nexus of International Health Policy and National Health Policies, 1980-Present
    HIV/AIDS: An Extraordinary African Struggle
    AIDS in Uganda: An Unfinished Success Story sidebar
    Global Health Funding Priorities, Emphases, and Omissions: Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and Mental Health
    Mental Health in Africa sidebar
    Urban Health
    Traditional Medicine and Healers sidebar

    Chapter 10 Land and Food
    Why Has Africa Become a Net Food Importing Region?
    Contemporary Agriculture in Africa: "The Great African Land Grab"?
    South Africans' Next "Great Trek" into Africa sidebar
    Benefits and Risks of Land Investments
    Geographies of the FDI in African Agricultural Lands
    The Fairtrade Debate sidebar
    Ethical Wildflower Trade and Sustainability: Flower Valley, South Africa
    Arguments For and Against Large-Scale FDI in African Agricultural Land
    Urban Agriculture
    Cape Town: The Paradox of Urban Food Insecurity in a Food-Secure Country sidebar

    Chapter 11 Climate Change
    Environmental Changes on Mount Kilimanjaro
    Climate Impacts on Africa
    The Human Impacts of Climate Change
    African Cities and Climate Change: An Urgent Agenda
    Is the Conflict in Darfur the World's First Climate Change War? sidebar
    Global Climate Stalemate and Funding Intransigence: African Voices
    Indigenous Knowledge in Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies in the African Sahel sidebar

    Chapter 12 China and Africa
    China Returns to Africa
    Chinese Migration to Africa
    Chinese Entrepreneurs in Africa's Informal Economies
    The African Diaspora in China: African Entrepreneurs in the "Dragon's Den"
    China's Infrastructure Investments to Africa: Building Bridges?
    China's Stadium Diplomacy sidebar
    A Pathway to Economic Development: China's Special Economic Zone in Lekki, Nigeria sidebar
    China and Zambia Relations sidebar

    Chapter 13 African Futures
    Washington's Engagement with Africa
    Africa's Terrorism Threats
    Post-MDGs: Which Alternatives?
    Durable Strengths that Africa Can Draw On sidebar
    New Urban Futures
    Eko-Atlantic (Nigeria) sidebar
    Urban Sustainability
    Sseesamirembe, Uganda: Sustainable Utopias Going Awry in a Global World sidebar
    Evidence of an Unsustainable World
    Post-MDGs: The Sustainable Development Agenda
    Rethinking Urbanism
    Livable Urbanism


"Divided into thirteen chapters, each with case studies, relevant photographs, tables, charts and maps, as well as extensive references and additional readings, this book offers numerous opportunities for students to explore their own understanding of diverse issues. In both the breadth of coverage and depth of analysis, Africa: Geographies Of Change, is highly recommended."

Dr. David Dorward, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria