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Card image 04 April 2023 The Elephant

Rentier Capitalism and Urban Geography in Africa

Tom Gillespie and Seth Schindler argue that infrastructure megaprojects in Kenya and Ghana have driven rapid urbanisation processes in historically rural areas. Drawing on the concept of rentier capitalism, they show how infrastructure initiatives created opportunities for the appropriation of rents by various actors, contributing to urbanisation without industrialisation. If policy initiatives to socialise and redistribute land rents are to be successful, Gillespie and Schindler conclude, they must be accompanied by political movements to challenge the vested interests that benefit from rentier capitalism in Africa.

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A project of Phuhlisani NPC supported by Absa. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. International License.