Blog: Urban myths and rural futures for Africa’s young people


Are people in Africa really moving as much in one direction – into towns and cities – as is commonly believed?

Ahead of our Young People, Farming and Food conference, John Thompson, Future Agricultures Consortium co-ordinator, has written a blog post on new research which appears to show otherwise. A recent paper by Deborah Potts argues that fictitious facts have become accepted as truth through constant repetition – with knock-on effects on urban and rural policy.

“….The process of urbanisation – whereby an increasing proportion of a population lives in urban settlements – is occurring far more slowly in Africa than is suggested by UN Habitat and World Bank datasets or ‘common knowledge’. Yet although the evidence indicates an increase in the urbanisation level of only about 1% per decade, in time, fictitious figures have become facts ‘by being constantly restated’…”

Read the full article here:

(Photo: Urban Africa, from cvickio’s photostream on Flickr)