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Major new book on Architecture and Politics in Africa

The ASA team is delighted to announce the publication of its book, Architecture and Politics in Africa: making, living and imagining identities through buildings.

The book is a collaboration, edited by Jo Tomkinson, Daniel Mulugeta and Julia Gallagher, with chapters by Innocent Batsani-Ncube and Kuukuwa Manful, alongside contributions from nine other scholars writing on the politics of building across Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is published by James Currey, and is the first in the landmark new series Making and Remaking the African City: studies in urban Africa, edited by Taibat Lawanson, Marie Huchzermeyer and Ola Uduku.

The book is available as a free download here, and in bookshops from September 2022, priced £25. You can find more information on the book here.

Book contents:

Introduction: Buildings are the stuff of politics

Daniel Mulugeta, Joanne Tomkinson and Julia Gallagher


1. Global ambitions and national identity in Ethiopia's airport expansion

Joanne Tomkinson and Dawit Yekoyesew

2. Building heaven on earth: Political rhetoric and ritual over Ghana's national cathedral

Emmanuel K. Ofori-Sarpong

3. China's 'parliament building gift' to Malawi: Exploring its rationale, tensions and asymmetrical gains

Innocent Batsani-Ncube

4. New homes for a new state: Foreign ideas in Ghana's public housing programmes

Irene Appeaning Addo


5. Beautiful state/ugly state: Architecture and political authority in Côte d'Ivoire

Julia Gallagher and Yah Ariane Bernadette N'djoré

6. Colonial legacies in architectures of consumption: The case of Sam Levy's village in Harare

Tonderai Koschke

7. Public spaces? Public goods? Reinventing Nairobi's public libraries

Marie Gibert

8. The role of architecture in South African detention cases during the apartheid era

Yusuf Patel


9. Pan-African imaginations: The AU building and its popular imagery in Ethiopia and Nigeria

Daniel Mulugeta

10. Asantean Noumena: The politics and imaginary reconstruction of the Asante Palace, Kumase

Tony Yeboah

11. From prison to freedom: Overwriting the past, imagining Nigeria

Laura Routley

Afterword: Theorising the politics of unformal(ised) architectures

Kuukuwa Manful


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