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African Infrastructural Futures: Urban research, debates and priorities

November 21, 2022 @ 8:00 am - November 23, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

The African Centre for Cities (ACC) will be hosting an academic conference entitled African Infrastructural Futures: Urban research, debates and priorities, on 21 November 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. The event will take place at the University of Cape Town.  

For reasons beyond our control and largely related to the complexity of planning large events in this moment, we had to move the conference dates from October 18 to November 21 2022. 

We have therefore decided to reopen our call for contributions for the academic day (Nov 21 2022) and extend the deadline for the submission of abstracts to 13 May 2022. For those who already submitted, we have contacted each of you and we hope you will still be able to join us. 

The scientific committee, chaired by Professor AbdouMaliq Simone, will review the abstracts and curate a selection of panels and papers by the end of June 2022. While the conference will be streamed online, the academic day will be an in-person event, so attendance is required in person. 

The academic conference forms part of a three-day event hosted by the ACC which focuses on African infrastructure futures. Day 1 (Nov 21st) will adopt a traditional academic conference setup (with themes outlined below). Day 2 and 3 (Nov 22nd and 23rd) will focus on the substance of the policy and practice debates, with a curated programme of panel discussions featuring development finance institutions, private sector representatives, African climate activists, African mayors and other infrastructure players on the continent. The conference overall will be a unique opportunity to break the usual silos of academia, development finance institutions, governments and private sector organizations, and to reframe the sustainable urban infrastructure debates in Africa. 

For the academic conference, we welcome proposals/abstracts which engage with the following questions and themes:

•            What does sustainable urban infrastructure mean in the African context? This theme will substantiate our understanding of sustainable urban infrastructure across diverse geographies.

•            What sorts of infrastructure transitions are in-progress, probable and possible to address carbon-dependent and resource-intensive urbanism? This theme will engage with questions related to climate change, resource constraints, and resilient urban infrastructure in African cities.

•            Who is involved and excluded from agenda-setting and prioritisation? With an eye on civil society, private sector organizations, donors, and sub-national governments, this theme will explore the dynamics, closures and cracks in infrastructure and transition governance.

•            What are the planning and connectivity interfaces across scales? From the sub-city scale to trans-border urban corridors, this theme engages with research which shifts our spatial orientation and reframes planning and investment priorities across scales.

•            How will speculative technologies shape the ontology of infrastructure? This theme will engage with the future of African cloud infrastructure, digital platforms, and speculative technological futures.

These questions roughly correspond to the five provocations which will guide the structure of the conference at large.

Key links:

– For further information about the conference, the call for papers, the selection process, and timelines see: https://www.africancentreforcities.net/call-for-papers-african-infrastructural-futures-urban-research-debates-and-priorities/

From the organizing team,

Edgar Pieterse (Director, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town)

Liza Rose Cirolia (Senior researcher, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town) Nobukhosi Ngwenya (Researcher, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town)

Andrea Pollio (Marie Curie Fellow, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town and DIST, Polytechnic of Turin).


November 21, 2022 @ 8:00 am
November 23, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


African Centre for Cities (ACC)


University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa + Google Map