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The Denman Lecture 2017: Urbanisation in Africa – the challenge of building cities that work

Wed 29 November 2017

Gonville and Caius College

About the Lecture

Cities in Sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing rapid population growth. Yet their economic growth has not kept pace. Why? One factor might be low capital investment, due in part to Africa’s relative poverty: Other regions have reached similar stages of urbanisation at higher per capita GDP. Tony will discuss a deeper reason: that African cities are closed to the world. Compared with other developing cities, cities in Africa produce few goods and services for trade on regional and international markets. He will explore how African cities can escape their development trap, develop scale economies, and increase investment.

About the Speaker

Tony is director of the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, and serves on the Steering Group of the International Growth Centre. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Econometric Society. Former positions include Chief Economist at the UK DFID, professor at the London School of Economics, research manager of the Trade Research Group in the World Bank, and advisor to the UK Treasury. He is a pioneer of New Economic Geography (along with Paul Krugman and Masahisa Fujita) and has major publications in international trade theory and spatial economics. He has co-authored two highly influential books, ‘The Spatial Economy – Cities, Regions and International Trade’, and ‘Multinationals in the World Economy’. Most recently he has co-authored the book ‘Africa’s Cities : Opening Doors to the World’. His publications have been cited almost 50,000 times, making him one of the world’s most cited economists. More.

About the Lecture Series

Established in 1979, the Denman Lecture hosts leading academics from around the world, on topics across the built and natural environment, economics and planning.

Booking required on the Cambridge University Land Society website.

Cost: £0 - £15

Ages: All ages

Enquiries and booking

Please note that booking is required for this event.

Enquiries: Joseph Poore Website


All times

Wed 29 November 2017 6:00PM - 7:30PM


Address: Gonville and Caius College
Bateman Auditorium
Trinity Street
Telephone: +44 1223 332400
Fax: +44 1223 332456