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Mandipa Ndlovu

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Mandipa Ndlovu

Strategic Advisor-Africa’s NXT50 Cities Coalition


Mandipa Ndlovu is a governance researcher and development policy analyst whose research and consulting experience spans multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral fora. She trained as an academic who was previously at the University of Cape Town in the Political Studies Department and carries on as an adjunct lecturer on African peace and security at the Netherlands Defence Academy in The Hague.

Mandipa is continuously contributing to global conversations on governance and the future of development. Notably, she serves on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance Advisory Council contributing to issues concerning the African youth demographic and contributed to the World Health Organisation’s “Imagining the Future of Pandemics and Epidemics” report. She is also a Mo Ibrahim Scholar alumna through the Governance for Development for Africa Initiative.

Mandipa is a doctoral researcher at Leiden University and a visiting researcher at the University of Edinburgh where her research is focused on the political economy of urban governance and its developmental futures in Africa. She holds a MSc in Violence, Conflict, and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) as well as a MPhil in Justice and Transformation from the University of Cape Town (UCT). Her broader research interests and publication record cover civil-military relations, sustainable economic development – particularly for Africa’s youth demographic, trauma and memory, post-conflict justice, urban transitions, and social protections within militarized states.



When Good Policy Meets Bad Politics Thumbnail

When Good Policy Meets Bad Politics: Property Rights, Land Amalgamation, and Urbanization in India

Indian cities are facing challenges due to their low-rise structures and sprawling slums that are projected to increase with the growth of urban populations in the future. To cope with this trend and take advantage of agglomeration externalities, India needs to adopt a more upward, pyramid-like approach with increased density. Although strengthening property rights has been suggested as a solution, India’s fragmented land ownership system makes this option difficult.

Previously, the Indian government used eminent domain to acquire and amalgamate land for industrial or infrastructural use, but this led to significant political opposition in the 2000s. As a result, the 2013 Land Acquisition Act was passed, which narrowed the circumstances under which land could be acquired, increased compensation payments, and extended those payments to non-owners who relied on the land for their livelihoods. While this approach has ensured political acquiescence among rural and slum dwellers, it has created a problem for private businesses that require land for property or industrial development, causing a significant time and cost burden.

This political reality, while necessary for a democratic India, may not be conducive to good economics and may lead to dysfunctional urbanization.

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CCI September Book Club

September Book Club Review

Each month, the CCI team selects a new book to read and discuss together. Our book club selections cover a wide range of topics that are relevant to charter cities, but they are most often related to development, urban issues, and governance. In this ongoing series, reviewers will offer summaries of the books we’ve read and share some of the highlights from our discussions.

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