This unique book is comprehensive both in terms of time coverage, from before the Pharaohs to the present moment and in that it tries to consider cities from the entire continent, not just Sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from factual information and rich description material culled from many sources, it looks at many issues from why urban life emerged in the first place to how present-day African cities cope in difficult times. Instead of seeing towns and cities as somehow extraneous to the real Africa, it views them as an inherent part of developing Africa, indigenous, colonial, and post-colonial and emphasizes the extent to which the future of African society and African culture will likely be played out mostly in cities. The book is written to appeal to students of history but equally to geographers, planners, sociologists and development specialists interested in urban problems.

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