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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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MBAs must focus on urban explosion - YouTube

In the next 35 years 2bn rural people will move to cities. Reuben Abraham of India’s IFDC Institute tells Della Bradshaw, FT business education editor, that MBAs must focus on the business opportunities of rapid urbanisation in developing countries.

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Technology Gives Form and Face to a Forgotten Place

Technology Gives Form and Face to a Forgotten Place | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In 2008, the world became mostly urban, when for the first time, more people lived in cities than rural areas. That year, we also crossed an important technological threshold – for the first time there were more mobile broadband Internet subscribers than fixed. A new book by Anthony Townsend, SMART CITIES: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, explores the intersection of these historic shifts. With the UN projecting that 90 percent of population growth in coming decades will occur in cities throughout the developing world, new solutions are needed to address the rapid expansion of informal settlements. In this excerpt, Townsend explains how a new volunteer effort Map Kibera is combining consumer technologies and open source GIS to chart one of Africa’s largest and most notorious slums.

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Escaping poverty through low end globalisation?

Escaping poverty through low end globalisation? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

This photograph is taken in Guangzhou (the city once known as Canton) at a wholesale clothing market. Most of the people in the market are not from Guangzhou. The market traders are a mix of people from China and from a number of different nations in Africa. The customers are primarily Africans.  It is an international place, drawing all toward a common goal:  to escape poverty through the international circulation of cell phones and clothing.   

 

Most of those Africans in Guangzhou are working in businesses that facilitate the export of goods back to Africa.  Gordon Matthews in his book Ghetto at the centre of the world tells us that Africans go through stages of engagement in the process of becoming a trader with China. The easiest point of access is via Hong Kong and in particular through a single building: Chung King Mansions. The traders come to Hong Kong with money that they have scraped together from friends and family seeking out those with experience. In Hong Kong, they will either buy from local wholesalers, which is a more expensive but potentially less risky option, and ship the good back or taken home as part of their luggage.  Those who are more connected or willing to take bigger risks may find  a guide who will take them to Shenzhen or, even better, Guangzhou to buy from wholesalers directly. Goods will then be shipped as in the photograph above or again carried home as luggage. Those who successfully manage the first trip, and are able to get their goods home, then survive economically to return again. Many do not.

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Mimiboard. The Virtual Noticeboard. Empowering Local Communities

South Africa-based Umuntu Media, as part of a mission to help communities create and find useful content, decided to bring the news board online.

 

Mimiboard marks an evolution of the way local information can be shared. It is simply the digital manifestation of a time-trusted product many Africans can relate to. At the same time, Mimiboard is not just a traditional news portal. It allows for mobile sharing and provides a great user experience – something previous online forums have failed to accomplish.

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Literacy Bridge

Literacy Bridge saves lives and improves the livelihoods of impoverished families through comprehensive programs that provide on-demand access to locally relevant knowledge. At the heart of the programs is the Talking Book, an innovative low-cost audio computer.

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Literacy Bridge's programs reach out to impoverished pregnant women and mothers of young children. The Talking Book devices are loaded with health behavior and agriculture messages to help mothers with the selection and production of crops that offer maximum  nutritional value for children under five years of age.  I wonder if their program is aware of Moringa


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DVICE: Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction

DVICE: Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they'll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa.


Here's how it went down, as related by OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte at MIT Technology Review's EmTech conference last week:


"We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He'd never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android."

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East Africa: Rural-Urban Migration Must Be Checked

THERE is every reason to worry about the escalating rural to urban migration in East Africa. Desperate people, most of them youths, troop into towns in the quest for 'greener pastures.'


In Tanzania, about 35 per cent of the estimated 42 million nationals have already moved into cities, municipalities and towns, straining further the few resources available. The other worrisome factor in this scenario is that most migrants move into slums, worsening the spectre of overpopulation and possible disease outbreaks.


It is a situation that calls for alarm and action to reverse the trend. This would necessitate the need for rural transformation, starting with the development of agriculture and small-scale industries. Next should be the provision of such basic amenities as water and electricity and the improvement of social services to improve the living standards of the people.


The negative effects of climate change felt all over the world could be devastating to the local rural geography as well, resulting into drought conditions that might prove quite a disincentive. In the long run, it is the environment which suffers. Farmers need government support to help them preserve the environment. Rural communities have a critical role to play as custodians of the environment. The government should empower residents in rural villages to adapt their farming methods and lifestyles to mitigate the effects of climate change or other destructive factors.


via allAfrica.com

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Indigenous and ingenious: The roots of mobile banking in Africa | Build it Kenny, and they will come...

Indigenous and ingenious: The roots of mobile banking in Africa | Build it Kenny, and they will come... | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In Ghana, it’s popularly known as susu. In Cameroon, tontines or chilembe. And in South Africa, stokfel. Today, you’d most likely call it plain-old microfinance, the nearest term we have for it. Age-old indigenous credit schemes have run perfectly well without much outside intervention for generations. Although, in our excitement to implement new technologies and solutions, we sometimes fail to recognise them. Innovations such as mobile banking – great as they may be – are hailed as revolutionary without much consideration for what may have come before, or who the original innovators may have been.


Via Thabo Mophiring
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How farmers' gender-based differences hamper climate adaptation

How farmers' gender-based differences hamper climate adaptation | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Women in rural areas in developing countries are not equally vulnerable to climate change. A woman's resilience to the various impacts of climate change depends on her social status, her access to resources, and involvement in social networks. In some cases, one woman can be more resilient than her neighbour, and even be more resilient than some men in her village. Women are also not necessarily victims of climate change but can contribute to finding solutions on how to cope with climate change.


Via David Hodgson
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Toponomic Urbanism |  Bumbogo, Designing A Uniquely Rwandan Urban Morphology

Toponomic Urbanism |  Bumbogo, Designing A Uniquely Rwandan Urban Morphology | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The global South and particularly the African continent, is facing an incredible challenge in the form of urban growth. As much as this presents its own slew of challenges, therein also lies opportunity for design innovation and the development of an urban morphology that no doubt should be practical, but vitally embraces cultural and context sensitivity.

 

Rwanda, like much of the developing world faces the reality that its growing populace requires adequate housing, infrastructure, services and employment opportunities. Unique among these nations, it is densely populated without being highly urbanised. However, the demographic pressure of growing urbanisation is a source of justifiable concern for all levels of Rwandan government.

 

Africa needs to develop its own urbanity, based on each component of its culture; one that is turned towards the future and responds to people’s needs without denying its African roots - Guilliame Sardin

 

via  Another Africa

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KENYA: Urban poor face rising food insecurity

KENYA: Urban poor face rising food insecurity | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

A recent urban food security assessment carried out by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the government of Kenya has revealed that more than a quarter of urban children in the country are stunted - a symptom of chronic malnutrition - while 13 percent of high-density urban households have unacceptably low levels of food consumption.

 

Many of the urban poor resort to coping strategies such as restricting consumption, eating fewer or smaller meals and eating cheaper products. The urban poor in Kenya spend 60 to 65 percent of their income on food.

 

According to the assessment, Kenya's urban population accounts for about 35 percent of the total population, with 70 percent of urban dwellers living in slums. Kenya’s urban population grew by 4 percent in 2010, and the World Bank estimates that urban poverty will represent almost half of Kenya's total poverty by 2020.

 

At present, the government is promoting urban and peri-urban agriculture to improve food access among the urban poor.

 

“Urban agriculture is an important coping strategy for the urban poor, many of whom would be food insecure. We are targeting some 100,000 urban farmers per year over the next three years," the Ministry of Agriculture's Songa said.

 

The government says it will subsidize seeds, fertilizers, sacks and training to the farmers to help them produce short-cycle crops such as tomatoes, vegetables and beans.

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Africa: Deciphering a Green Economy

Africa: Deciphering a Green Economy | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The "development first" approach to the green economy has been pushed by the African Union, said eminent African scientist Youba Sokona, the co-chair of the IPCC's Working Group III (mitigation issues). In a paper prepared by him as the coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre, Sokona described this approach as an "opportunity to transform climate challenges into development opportunities ... to modernize and upgrade their water, energy, urbanization plans and agricultural systems."

 

He said countries in the region had adopted the concepts of a "green economy" and "green growth", which did not "originate in Africa", but that these concepts "needed to be re-articulated to have real meaning in the African condition, and the entry point for us is that it has to reduce poverty and make us climate resilient."

 

Sokona called for "leapfrogging" directly to cleaner technologies and sustainable land-use solutions, but said these should be home-grown, built by an African pool of researchers and industry that needed to be nurtured. Importing technology to produce renewable energy could be prohibitively expensive.

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Growing Potential: Africa’s Urban Farmers | This Big City

Growing Potential: Africa’s Urban Farmers | This Big City | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Urban agriculture is a common sight in virtually every African city, with 35 million urban farmers expected on the continent by 2020.


At the household level, an urban garden means improved food security and access to nutritious fresh produce which might otherwise be unaffordable.


Despite its vast popularity local authorities tend to either ignore or prohibit urban farming on a premise that it is unsightly, unhygienic and incompatible with progress and modernity.


Greater government involvement is needed for urban agriculture to emerge out of marginality and illegality and deliver greater environmental and social benefits.


Considering booming urban populations, stretched environmental resources and growing income disparities, well-managed local food production may soon be indispensable rather than desirable.


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Mariana Soffer's comment, July 15, 2012 7:37 AM
also very cool
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Food security: an urban issue

Food security: an urban issue | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

“Populations in general are growing very rapidly in Africa, and on top of that we’re seeing increased urbanisation,” says Mellissa Wood, director of the AIFSRC.

....

A new project by the World Vegetable Centre (AVRDC) is trying to address this by pulling together the issues of urban growth, migration, livelihoods and undernutrition, and drawing specific attention to the role of peri-urban 'corridors' of production outside cities.

.....

“young people in cities are not necessarily finding employment opportunities, and that is potentially increasing future food security issues in these regions. This project is quite holistic, so it’s getting young people into vegetable production as a source of livelihoods, helping existing farmers too, and optimising the whole system by finding improved varieties that will work well in particular regions, and strengthening value chains.”


The main vehicle for the project is the establishment of best practice hubs in peri-urban areas – which it defines as areas within 2-3 hours of cities – around the four target cities. These hubs will serve as centres for crop trials and experimentation, and will give the young producers who are new to farming full training in vegetable crop growing and management. They will also be open to existing farmers looking to improve their skills, so the idea is that they will serve best practice sites for the farming communities around them.

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Cooperatives as Business Models of the Future

Cooperatives as Business Models of the Future | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Cooperatives as Business Models of the Future - When the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC) concluded last week, some of the overwhelming success stories highlighted at a two-day interactive session came both from developing and developed countries,...

Dame Pauline Green, president of the International Cooperative Alliance...

In Brazil, Green said, a clearly defined government policy aimed at helping rural people, through cooperative businesses, has seen a massive reduction in poverty in the rural areas of the sprawling South American nation.

In Kenya, cooperatives account for nearly half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while in Rwanda the cooperative economy has gone from zero to eight percent of GDP over the last 10 years.

The world’s largest 300 cooperatives, primarily in the insurance and food and agriculture sectors, generated revenues of 1.6 trillion dollars and employed nearly 100 million people worldwide.

 

Asked if the cooperative model of enterprise may well be one of the answers to the global economic crisis, Green told IPS, “Without doubt the cooperative business model offers a proven solution to this global economic crisis we are mired in.”

In the UK, she said, schools have become one of the fastest-growing parts of the cooperative economy.


“Renewable energy cooperatives have been springing up all over the globe, and of course media is another area which benefits from the cooperative model because it ensures independent journalism remains viable,” she noted.

 

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https://twitter.com/toughLoveforx/status/356034145530556418

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Climate Change Promises Tough Times for Asia and Africa - Report

Climate Change Promises Tough Times for Asia and Africa - Report | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Urbanisation is increasing rapidly, especially in the developing world, with many more people living in slums and informal settlements, Kyte told IPS from London.

 

As climate change disrupts rainfall patterns and generates more extreme weather in the coming decades, leading to poor crop yields, rural populations will flood cities. Escalating numbers of urban poor will suffer, with temperatures magnified by the "heat island effect" of the constructed urban environments.

 

Safe drinking water will also be harder to find, especially after floods, contributing to greater water-borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.

Coastal regions like Bangladesh and India's two largest coastal cities, Kolkata and Mumbai, will face extreme river floods, more intense tropical cyclones, rising sea levels and very high temperatures.

 

"Huge numbers of urban poor will be exposed in many coastal cities," Kyte said.

 

"We face a huge challenge over the next 20 years to... redesign our cities to protect them from climate change," Kyte predicted, even as cities already face a huge infrastructure investment gap.

 

One trillion dollars a year needed to be invested every year by 2020 by some estimates, Kyte said, adding that "to build climate resilience into cities will take another 300 to 500 million dollars a year".

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Urban farmers join green revolution in South Africa

Urban farmers join green revolution in South Africa | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Urban farmers in Africa are increasingly being recognized as important contributors to the green sector.

 

... more small farmers are needed to make Africa self-sufficient, IFAD’s 2011 Rural Poverty Report stated. Although the farms are small, they must work efficiently as businesses.

 

“Smallholder farming can offer a route out of poverty for many,” IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze noted in his report, “but only if it is productive, commercially oriented and well-linked to modern markets.”

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Biodiversity must be built into urban development to make future cities .

Biodiversity must be built into urban development to make future cities . | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Understanding how biodiversity can contribute to sustainable urban development will be vital as 70% of the world’s population moves into cities, an expert from the Stockholm Resilience Centre has warned.


Biodiversity must be built into urban development to make future cities ...


Thomas Elmqvist, a Professor at the University of Stockholm told RTCC that an area the size of South Africa is expected to be lost to rapid urbanisation over the next couple of decades.


He said this could pose a number of challenges, which a focus on biodiversity could help to solve.


“This will be primarily agricultural land,” he said. “This will have knock on effects because at the same time we have an increase in population and an increase in the need for food, so we will need to increase production. (...)


“Cities are facing enormous challenges; climate change is one,” he said. “We know that climate change will increase the frequency of heatwaves. It will also cause much higher variation in precipitation. Here is an opportunity for cities to embrace what we know about ecosystems and how they could reduce vulnerability.

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Harnessing Diasporas

By Dilip Ratha and Sonia Plaza - Africa can tap some of its millions of emigrants to help development efforts...


"African migrants sent at least $40 billion in remittances to African countries in 2010. The true size of remittance flows, including unrecorded flows, is believed to be significantly larger. Remittances are the most tangible link between migration and development. Remittances are a large source of funding in many African countries: in Lesotho, they are close to 30 percent of GDP; in Cape Verde, Senegal, and Togo, more than 10 percent of GDP. In Egypt, remittances are larger than the revenue from the Suez Canal, and in Morocco they exceed tourism revenue."

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Technology and the democratisation of development

Technology and the democratisation of development | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In 1993 the number of mobile subscribers in Africa numbered in the hundreds of thousands. By 1998 that had crept to four million. Today there are an estimated 735 million with penetration running at around the 70% mark. Not bad in less than 20 years. (...)


Mobile phone ownership among the communities many of them serve presents new opportunities to increase the reach and efficiency of their work. Simply being able to send messages to coordinate meetings, or to remind people of key messages, can save hours – even days – on the road.


Community healthcare workers can also stay in better touch with the hospital when they’re back in their villages. Farmers can access advice and market information directly from their fields. Citizens can report corruption, or engage in debate. Births can be registered. Illegal logging can be recorded and reported. It’s safe to say that mobile phones have touched every sector of development in one way or another. It has become so ubiquitous that, in just a few short years, many development workers can hardly imagine life without them.


via Build it Kenny, and they will come...

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Local African Pottery Serves An Ingenious Architectural Function

Local African Pottery Serves An Ingenious Architectural Function | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The African-born, German-educated architect Diébédo Francis Kéré earned a slew of international awards for a school he designed in Burkina Faso that used mud bricks and corrugated iron to create natural convection cooling.


Now, Kéré has raised the innovation bar by using local pottery to create light and ventilation in a library adjacent to the school. Kéré, the son of the village chief in the desperately poor village of Gando, had previously marshaled the tribe’s men to fashion some 2,000 clay bricks a day to build the school. More recently, he turned to the local women for help, urging them to bring the clay pots they traditionally make for cooking and carrying water to the schoolyard, where his workmen cut them to be open both at the bottom and top. They were then cast into the library’s concrete ceiling, creating holes to the open air.


Kéré then constructed a corrugated iron roof above the concrete ceiling, which heats up in the sun, drawing air from inside the library up through the clay pot holes to cool the room below.


The result is an elliptical, airy space, lit with dappled light, that’s a welcome refuge from the region’s blistering 104-degree heat.

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SolarKiosk | Simple Community Ethiopia

SolarKiosk | Simple Community Ethiopia | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

SolarKiosk, a modular business unit for Africa and off-grid areas anywhere in the world, recently opened its first kiosk near Lake Langano, Ethiopia. Following a period of design and planning, a privately financed company was formed to prepare the product for serial production by building prototypes and running pilots in several countries. The first prototype of the SolarKiosk was built in November 2011 and displayed in various locations, including the 2012 TedXBerlin conference. In March of this year, a subsidiary, Solarkiosk Solutions PLC, was incorporated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to run a pilot program. Construction of the first prototypes in Ethiopia began in April. Today, the kiosk is up and running in a new community.

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The Pader Academy: Educating Young Mothers Affected By Uganda's Civil War

With support from the Uganda Fund, the Pader Girls Academy educates girls who have returned to village life after being abducted and forced into marriage or pregnancy during the country's civil war. Learn more at http://bit.ly/KexBem  via MacArthur Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

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The Quiet Revolution in Social Impact

The Quiet Revolution in Social Impact | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

There are currently 30 million African migrants who have left their home countries to find work elsewhere. They support more than 300 million people in their home countries, remitting essential food and goods, and in aggregate represent more than $10b in annual economic activity. This is an economy without an infrastructure, however, relying on informal channels and bribes to function.

 

South African entrepreneur Suzana Moreira is working to change that. Her startup moWoza uses SMS to help African migrants order, pay for, and select a place for parcel pickup. Instead of having to actually ship a bag of maize, for example, they can simply order one near the person they’re buying it for.

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