Market woman in Nairobi, Kenya. The prices of fresh produce in the city have risen rapidly in the past ten years. (Photo/ Pixabay)

Tomatoes And Carrots Are An Early Warning Signal Of What’s Wrong With Africa’s Cities. Seriously

In many cities, fresh produce is often transported either by handcart or by motorcycle. Though on the surface they seem cheap, they are hugely inefficient from a technological perspective, and there’s a big cost to it


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Pretoria is famous for its jacaranda trees. (Photo/ South African Tourism)

Jacaranda Season Is Ending, But Here’s A Reminder Of How Trees Are Very Political In Africa

Even in Kenya’s dusty little border town with Ethiopia, the jacaranda tree stands out as a marker of British presence – Moyale on the Kenyan side has the trees around its town centre, on the Ethiopian side there are none


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Chicken jollof. Urban consumers eat more meat, fruit and vegetables than rural ones do. (Photo/ Flickr/ Joan Nova)

The Garden, Or The Vegetables? The Irony Of Urban/Rural Food Consumption In West Africa

City dwellers eat more fruits, vegetables, meat and fish that those living in the rural areas; consumption of cereals and pulses is lower. It’s counter-intuitive, as one might expect a rural diet to be richer in fresh produce


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Charcoal for sale, some in food aid bags, during the 2011 drought in Kenya. The fuel provides income for farmers when their crops fail. (Photo/ Flore de Preneuf/ World Bank)

Charcoal And The City: Household Energy Use In Urban Africa

Charcoal demand remains high even in wealthier households in urban Africa. People are happy to continue cooking using charcoal – even when they can afford not to – and spend the extra money in eating meat for example


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Jemaa el-Fina market in Marrakech, Morocco. You may not have noticed it, but many African cities are expanding faster in land area than they are in population.

African Cities Are Growing, But Ironically Becoming Less Dense; Why This Matters

A sprawling city means that distances between neighbourhoods are long and transport costs are high. That ends up acting as a brake on the ability of cities to reap the benefits of growth.