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Charter Cities Institute Conducts Lecture Series at University of Zambia

Senior Researcher, Professor Matthew McCartney Presented ‘Rethinking African Cities’

Lusaka, Zambia
October 2023

Charter Cities Institute (CCI) Senior Researcher, Professor Matthew McCartney recently concluded a ten-hour, in-person lecture course at the University of Zambia (UNZA). The course was entitled ‘Rethinking African Cities’ and offered a multi-disciplinary analysis of the constraints and opportunities of African urbanization in the twenty-first century, with special emphasis on the host city, Lusaka.

The lecture series was planned in collaboration with the Center for Urban Planning and Research (CURP) in the Department of Geography and facilitated by Ms. Dorothy Ndhlovu (CURP) and Dr. Gilbert Siame (Geography).  Additionally, the Acting Dean, Dr. Musundu, and the Acting Head of Geography Dr. Chisolo, formally hosted the lectures and presided over the closing ceremony. Heba Elhanafy and Mwanda Phiri from the CCI Zambia office provided the administrative support that made the course possible.

The primary message across the lectures was that the form, function, and nature of urbanization in Lusaka, as well as other towns and cities of Zambia (e.g., Ndola and Kitwe), has a profound impact on key issues that big economics ministries think about – economic growth, employment, industrialization, and exports. Zambia cannot fulfill its oft-stated vision of diversifying the economy away from copper until it promotes a more productive form of urbanization.

The event turnout was robust and included officials, officers, and members of the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC), Ministry of Local Governance and Regional Development (MLGRD), Lusaka City Council (LCC), Zambia Institute of Planners (ZIP), Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Zambia College of the Built Environment, Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR), and the Department of Resettlements.

The “students” soon settled into a groove of being participants in an extended discussion, and the planned format was quickly dispensed with, as the discussion ran through the entire class and wasn’t ring-fenced into the last half hour. The eclectic mix of participants had been well-chosen and provided a fascinating and diverse mix of lived experience in the practice of urban planning and urban policy making.

About the Charter Cities Institute

The Charter Cities Institute empowers new cities with better governance to lift tens of millions of people out of poverty. It was founded on the idea that a fresh approach was necessary to tackle humanity’s most pressing challenges: global poverty, rapid urbanization, and conflict and migration caused by poverty, war, and climate change. Charter cities—new cities granted a special jurisdiction to create a new governance system—are that solution. CCI is building the ecosystem for charter cities by: creating legal, regulatory, and planning frameworks needed for rapid urban growth; advising and connecting key stakeholders including governments, new city developers, and multilateral institutions; and, influencing the global agenda through research and partnerships.

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