Gender and Age in African Cities

Programme co-ordinator: Amin Y. Kamete

The programme started in 2003 and was completed in 2009

This programme aimed to complement studies on African urban issues in the 21st century. It sought to provide a specific, urban-based, up-to-date and fine-tuned study of a number of determinants and outcomes of processes and events that are normally the subjects of academic and professional enquiry. As key determinants of life in the cities and towns of Africa, age and gender are important areas of investigation that could yield some valuable insights into the macro and micro-social, political and economic processes in urban Africa.

The combination of age, gender and urban development is a very rare, yet very necessary, addition to the stocks of knowledge on contemporary African studies. There is not much in the way of current, comprehensive and systematic accumulation of resources on these three key aspects of African development, let alone on how they interact among themselves and with other phenomena to give rise to specific events and processes in Africa’s urban terrain. To this end the study attempted to refine our understanding of urban dynamics, explain some major developments, refute, confirm or add to some existing ‘knowledges’ and ‘understandings’.

The programme has five sub-themes as follows:

  1. The demographic dynamics of African urban centres.
  2. Transformation in household dynamics.
  3. Ageing and its implications.
  4. The bright and dark side of African urban life: a gender-age perspective.
  5. Youths in Africa cities.

In addition to specific questions on each of the sub-themes, there is a common thread running through all of them, namely the questions:

  • What are the various responses and outcomes to the changing dynamics in African countries?
  • What is the response of government? Civil society? Households?
  • What is the age-gender dimension of such interventions? Why?

Because of its multifaceted nature, the programme endeavoured to capture as wide a network of experts as possible. It aimed at establish a multidisciplinary network comprising academics and practitioners with backgrounds in sociology, geography, anthropology, demography, economics, policy studies, public administration, urban planning and political science.

Amin Y. Kamete has been Senior Lecturer at the Department of Rural and Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe in Harare. A qualified urban planner, he has been engaged in teaching and researching on urban issues since the 1990s. His subject areas are Southern Africa, Zimbabwe, South Africa, SADC, urban planning, urban governance, housing, gender, youths, urban livelihoods and economies, urban development.

Amin Y. Kamete
Gender relations
Urban development
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