FOR THE CITY YET TO COME, changing African life in four cities

: Simone (A.)

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297pp., illus., paperback, Durham, 2004


In this series of case studies AbdouMaliq Simone examines informal economies and social networks in Winterveld, a neighborhood on the edge of Pretoria, South Africa; in Pikine, a large suburb of Dakar, Senegal; in Douala, Cameroon; and among Africans seeking work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“This is by far the best book about African cities as well as a theoretically provocative experiment in urban criticism. Using a combination of both large-scale and focused analyses, Abdoumaliq Simone brings to light the nuances, shades, and imaginative universes of contemporary African urban life that have eluded most analysts. In the process, he profoundly renews our understanding of the politics of everyday life.” Achille Mbembe, author of On the Postcolony

For the City Yet to Come is about much more than the planning and politics of cities in Africa. AbdouMaliq Simone lays out a challenging, intellectually wide-ranging and yet very grounded consideration of present and possible dispensations of social life in Africa, maintaining a delicate balance between attention to the improvisational and creative within African urban spaces and critique of the sufferings and injustices of city life.” Timothy Burke, author of Lifebuoy Men, Lux Women: commodification, consumption, and cleanliness in modern Zimbabwe

AbdouMaliq Simone is Assistant Director of the Graduate Program in International Affairs at New School University. He is the co-author, with David Hecht, of Invisible Governance: the art of African micropolitics.