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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2019

Geci Karuri-Sebina

The implications of Africa’s growth and urbanisation are the subject of much interest and speculation, and are central to the vision of the African Union’s Agenda 2063…

Abstract

Purpose

The implications of Africa’s growth and urbanisation are the subject of much interest and speculation, and are central to the vision of the African Union’s Agenda 2063. The purpose of this paper is to compare the dominant perspectives on urban futures in Africa to emerging directions in futures and urban thinking, suggesting alternative policy approaches for Africa’s urban agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper scans and sorts through how Africa’s growth and urbanisation are being understood and framed by various futurists and other futures-commentators. It takes the form of a discussion of the issue of how, why and by whom a series of data points, trends and their implications are being computed and combined, and with what validity, so to inform policy and planning responses.

Findings

The paper argues from its findings that futuring about urban Africa has been intense, but not particularly objective, neutral or even empirically grounded. Emerging directions in anticipation theorisation and experimental approaches such as “urban tinkering” are proposed as possibly offering alternative approaches to how nations and policymakers might think and act on urban Africa’s futures.

Originality/value

This original interrogation of which and how actors anticipate Africa’s urban futures could be used to expand beyond the urban visions, assumptions and futuring conventions reflected in Africa’s Agenda 2063, as well as processes advancing the global sustainable development goals and UNHabitat’s new urban agenda.

Details

foresight, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

foresight, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Abstract

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Innovation Africa
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-310-5

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2011

Olugbenga Adesida and Geci Karuri‐Sebina

This editorial aims to summarize the outcome of the Special Issue exploration on the theme “Is Africa the land of the future?”.

Abstract

Purpose

This editorial aims to summarize the outcome of the Special Issue exploration on the theme “Is Africa the land of the future?”.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper contextualises and synthesizes the set of Africa‐themed foresight papers included in the journal issue.

Findings

The exploration concludes that Africa faces a range of internal and external opportunities and challenges. These are historical, geopolitical, economic, demographic, psychological, and intellectual. Key drivers and analyses identified by seven authors are briefly presented.

Research limitations/implications

The restricted number of papers that could be included in the single issue required a narrow selection from a large set of good papers and subject coverage. The issue and editorial therefore only address a few of the key drivers, in addition to some broad, foundational issues.

Practical implications

Neither mere optimism nor pessimism will determine Africa's ultimate trajectory. Concerted ownership, foresight and collective action by Africa's leaders and followers are the key to positive futures for the continent.

Originality/value

The Special Issue is a unique contemporary African foresight contribution, which aims to provide a deeper understanding of the emerging challenges and opportunities for the continent.

Details

Foresight, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 24 December 2016

Abstract

Details

Innovation Africa
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-310-5

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Abstract

Details

Innovation Africa
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-310-5

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 24 December 2016

Abstract

Details

Innovation Africa
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-310-5

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

Innovation Africa
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-310-5

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 24 February 2012

Geci Karuri‐Sebina and Lee Rosenzweig

This paper aims to present the process and results of a local‐level South African action research project on introducing foresight methods into a local government planning process.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the process and results of a local‐level South African action research project on introducing foresight methods into a local government planning process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper outlines the evolutionary process followed, and documents the practical insights gained and lessons learnt in relation to the concept of pro‐poor foresight.

Findings

Positive outcomes in the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) foresight process included a high level of stakeholder engagement and senior management buy‐in, supported by positive evaluations by diverse participants. The learning was subsequently incorporated into long‐term development plans and proposals such as the ten‐year development plan for the region. The experience yielded key lessons about the recruitment of participants, policy alignment, communication in diversity, active participation, facilitation as learning, the influence of technical inputs, and the importance of integration.

Research limitations/implications

Further academic research could build upon this case study to investigate longer‐term impacts of the initiative in KSD, tracking replications and adaptations of the KSD experiment, comparative research between contexts where foresight is used and where it is not in development policy and planning processes, enquiry into how foresight might be formally incorporated in the routine development policy and planning processes of municipalities, and undertaking more theoretical enquiry on the “localising foresight” concept and experience, including the development of guiding criteria and indicators for procedural and outcome success.

Practical implications

The case focuses on learning in a developing world context where foresight is less advanced than in other contexts. The results of the exercise in KSD suggest that it is possible to embed pro‐poor foresight in a large‐scale policy programme to enhance the resilience of communities, supported by appropriate plans and budgets.

Social implications

The long‐term nature of foresight can create a “safe” platform for an otherwise difficult engagement, as is this case where three levels of government and various segments of civil society are to be beneficially engaged.

Originality/value

This was a unique action research project in South Africa, where foresight has tended to be mainly at a top or central level – that being the level of corporate executives, national government, or national‐level stakeholders.

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 24 December 2016

Abstract

Details

Innovation Africa
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-310-5

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