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Susan Parnell Explains the UN Sustainable Development Goals and What they Mean for Urban Development

Africa's Urban RevolutionSusan Parnell, co-editor of Africa’s Urban Revolution, recently shared her insight on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with Yanna Romano, who wrote an article about the web of debates around the matter for UrbanAfrica.Net.

In the article, Romano explains the purpose of the SDGs – to balance social, economic, and environmental needs in specific areas by 2030 – and how these goals are to be achieved.

Parnell recently went to New York to represent the International Council for Science in a UN discussion about the SDGs. She says that the path to implementing these aims in cities can be blocked by serious disagreements about what needs to be done, and how. Nevertheless, Parnell is hopeful and positive about the urban development project:

In spite of these tensions, Parnell remains relatively optimistic. For her, there is reason for the global community to recognise the urban arena within its own framing. Firstly, it allows for the establishment of empirical standards to be addressed by nation-states at the subnational scale — a disaggregation that could help global policies to translate more meaningfully on the ground. The same policies do not necessarily apply to urban and rural areas identically; with their distinct challenges they usually require different kinds of solutions. Taking food security as an example, research shows that hunger manifests very differently and for different reasons in cities than it does in rural areas.

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Read Thabo Mbeki’s Foreword to The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring: A Season of Rebirth?

The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab SpringIn his foreword to The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring: A Season of Rebirth?, edited by Charles Villa-Vicencio, Erik Doxtader and Ebrahim Moosa, former president Thabo Mbeki outlines the the relevance of the Arab Reawakening for Africa.

The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring is a look at the lessons and insights gained from South Africa’s transition 20 years ago, as well as an assessment of the current turbulence in both African and Arab countries.

Mbeki begins his foreword by asking if it is realistic to understand Africa as connected and impacted by developments in the Arab world, and questions whether the uprisings in the African Maghreb and Egypt advanced or retarded African rebirth.

Read the foreword:

Thabo Mbeki's Foreword to The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring

 

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Don’t Miss the Launch of The Limits of Democratic Governance in South Africa at The Book Lounge

The Limits of Democratic Governance in South AfricaUCT Press and The Book Lounge would like to invite you to join them for the launch of The Limits of Democratic Governance in South Africa by Louis Picard and Thomas Mogale.

This book poses, and attempts to answer, a very important question: In the transition from apartheid rule to democratic governance in South Africa, what has been the impact on South African society at its base — on the people in the country’s cities, towns, villages, and farms?

Join the authors on Thursday, 2 July at 5:30 for 6 PM as they discuss what prompted their research and what they found during the process. Wine and snacks will be served.

Don’t miss this!

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Don’t Miss Eliada Wosu Griffin-EL at the Women’s Leadership Conference in Cape Town

The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation: New Frontiers in AfricaEliada Wosu Griffin-EL, co-editor of The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation: New Frontiers in Africa, has been confirmed as one of the speakers at the Women’s Leadership Conference Cape Town.

Wosu Griffin-EL, who is a lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, will be joined by Zimkhita Buwa, Amy de Castro, Rhoda Kadalie and a number of other women business leaders. The event will be chaired by founder Debby Edelstein.

The cost for the conference is R3 876. It will be on Wednesday, 5 August, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at the President Hotel in Bantry Bay.

Book now!

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Don’t Miss the Launch of The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring at The Book Lounge

African Renaissance invite

 
The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring: A Season of RebirthUCT Press and The Book Lounge would like to invite you to the launch of The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring: A Season of Rebirth by Charles Villa-Vicencio, Erik Doxtader and Ebrahim Moosa.

The authors will be discussing the book, which unpacks the similarities between South Africa, other African countries and Arab countries. They posit that each nation discussed would do well to learn from the political transitions of other nations.

The launch will be on Tuesday, 30 June, at 5:30 for 6 PM at The Book Lounge.

Don’t miss out!

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Join Edgar Pieterse for a Public Panel on The Contemporary African City at WiSER

Events at WiSER

 
Africa's Urban RevolutionWiSER invites you to a public panel on “The Contemporary African City: Crises, Potentials, and Limits”.

The discussion will be led by Professor Edgar Pieterse, co-editor of Africa’s Urban Revolution and SA Research Chair in Urban Policy and Director of the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town, in conversation with Dr Prishani Naidoo from the University of the Witwatersrand’s Sociology Department and Dr Alex Wafer from the School of Geography at Wits.

The event will take place on Tuesday, 23 June, in the WiSER Seminar Room and starts at 6 PM.

The public panel forms part of the Antipode Foundation’s 5th Institute for the Geographies of Justice series of events that are taking place from 21 to 27 June 2015.

On Wednesday, 25 June, WiSER will host a panel on “Capital, Disposability, Occupations” with Gillian Hart, author of Rethinking the South African Crisis (UKZN Press), Françoise Vergès, Melanie Samson and Sharad Chari at 2 PM.

On Thursday, 26 June, Ananya Roy, Distinguished Chair in Global Poverty and Practice at the University of California, Berkeley, will talk about “City’s End: Making the ‘People’s Territory’”. Achille Mbembe, author of On the Postcolony (UKZN Press) and Research Professor in History and Politics at WiSER, will introduce Roy and the discussion will start at 6 PM.

The Contemporary African City: Crises, Potentials, and Limits

  • Date: Tuesday, 23 June 2015
  • Time: 6 PM
  • Venue: WiSER Seminar Room
    6th Floor
    Richard Ward Building,
    East Campus
    Wits University | Map
  • Speakers: Edgar Pieterse, Prishani Naidoo and Alex Wafer
  • RSVP: Alex.Wafer@wits.ac.za

 
Capital, Disposability, Occupations

  • Date: Wednesday, 24 June 2015
  • Time: 2 PM
  • Venue: WiSER Seminar Room
    6th Floor
    Richard Ward Building,
    East Campus
    Wits University | Map
  • Speakers: Ananya Roy, with an introduction by Achille Mbembe
  • RSVP: Alex.Wafer@wits.ac.za

 
City’s End: Making the “People’s Territory”

  • Date: Thursday, 25 June 2015
  • Time: 6 PM
  • Venue: WiSER Seminar Room
    6th Floor
    Richard Ward Building,
    East Campus
    Wits University | Map
  • Speakers: Edgar Pieterse, Prishani Naidoo and Alex Wafer
  • RSVP: Alex.Wafer@wits.ac.za

 

Book Details

Islamic Feminism and Talking Back to Patriarchy: Sufi Narratives of Intimacy by Sa’diyya Shaikh

Sufi Narratives of IntimacyAbigail Calata from UCT Daily News recently spoke to Sa’diyya Shaikh about her UCT Book Award-winning book, Sufi Narratives of Intimacy: Ibn ‘Arabi, Gender, and Sexuality.

As an associate professor of religious studies at UCT, Shaikh has a special interest in Sufism and its implications for Islamic feminism and feminist theory at large.

“I map how Sufism resides at the heart of Muslim spirituality and has fundamental implications for thinking about gender in terms of law, virtue and ethics. My book is about reading critically and constructively against the grain, and claiming a particular space within the Muslim tradition to talk back to patriarchy. It is about claiming an authority within the tradition not for me, but for a certain voice of radical human equality which resides within the tradition,” the academic told Calata.

Read the article for more on Sufi Narratives of Intimacy:

Assoc Prof Sa’diyya Shaikh has won the 2015 UCT Book Award for her exploration of the ideas of a 13th century Sufi mystic, poet and scholar in Sufi Narratives of Intimacy.

Her book combines feminism and Sufism in such a unique way that critics have labelled it “ground-breaking” and “pioneering”.

It represents a dialogue between the social and spiritual concerns of 21st century Muslims on the one hand and the rich legacy of a compelling Muslim thinker – Muhyi al-Din ibn al-’Arabi – on the other.

 
Related link:

 
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Join Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool for the Launch of The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring

The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring: A Season of RebirthUCT Press and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation would like to invite you to the launch of The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring: A Season of Rebirth? by Charles Villa-Vicencio, Erik Doxtader and Ebrahim Moosa.

The launch will be on Thursday, 18 June, from 5:30 to 7 PM, at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town. Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, who also contributed to the book, will be delivering the keynote address at the event.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

About the book

The hope and despair surrounding the Afro-Arab Spring in North African countries have only just begun to be played out in regional and global politics. Similarly, the call for an African renaissance that followed what has been called a ‘miraculous’ negotiated political transition in South Africa is, 20 years later, viewed with ambiguity.

It is clear that current developments in Africa – North and South – promise something markedly different to what has prevailed at any point since the dawn of the African independence movements in the 1950s. This inspires the suggestion that these developments are reminiscent of the ‘European moment’ in 1989 that saw the fall of the Berlin Wall. Countries such as Mali, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Somalia and Zimbabwe are experiencing turbulence every bit as challenging as that in the Afro-Arab countries and South Africa.

This book specifically identifies and assesses lessons learned and insights gained from the South African transition and considers whether these lessons and insights have any significance for Arab Spring countries. In turn, current protests and emerging threats to democracy in the Arab Spring countries are highlighted as realities which South Africa would do well to ponder.

Contents

Introduction: Beginning Again? The Question of a Continent

1. From Cairo to the Cape: The Dilemmas of Revolution – Shamil Jeppie

2. Gathering the Pieces: The Structural, Social, and Psychological Elements of African Renewal – Don Foster

3. Understanding a Flawed Miracle: The History, Dynamics, and Continental Implications of South Africa’s Transition – Charles Villa-Vicencio

4. Irreconcilable Truths? Gender-based Violence and the Struggle to Build an Inclusive History – Helen Scanlon

5. Managing Transition: Lessons from Tunisia – Ibrahim Sharqieh

6. Libya: A Transition in Transition – Asif Majid

7. The Pharaoh Returns: The ‘Politics of Order’ and the Muslim Yearning for Freedom – Ebrahim Rasool

8. Political Theology in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring – Ebrahim Moosa

9. The One and the Many: Religious Coexistence and Belonging in Post-Apartheid Society – Abdulkader Tayob

10. A Popular Revolution? Gender Inequality and Political Change in North Africa – Katherine Marshall

11. A ‘New’ Pan-Africanism – Chris Landsberg

12. The Potential of an African Assertion – Once More, In the Name of a Renaissance – Erik Doxtader

Epilogue – Ali Mazrui

Appendices

Timeline of African Independence

Arab Spring Timeline

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The Way the UCT Linguistics Dept has Developed is an Example of Decolonisation – Rajend Mesthrie

A Dictionary of South African Indian EnglishRajend Mesthrie, author of A Dictionary of South African Indian English, recently wrote a report on UCT’s Linguistics Department for the university’s Monday Paper.

In the article, Mesthrie outlines the history of linguistics at UCT, from the department of just three people in the early 1980s, to the diverse, vibrant and prolific place of research and learning it is now.

Read the article:

The way linguistics has developed since 1983 has been an example of decolonisation. Linguistics was founded as a small department of three staff members in 1983, following the growth of linguistics internationally under the influence of Chomsky’s theory of universal grammar. At that time, the specialists in African linguistics were to be found in the Department of African Languages, with the main emphasis on languages of Southern Africa, both Khoesan and Bantu languages. The linguistics department nevertheless soon started to focus on sociolinguistics in South Africa, producing a textbook of readings in 1995 that helped define the field.

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Lwandle Residents: No One is Talking to Us About Developments Regarding the Promised Relocation

Hostels, Homes, MuseumTo mark the one year anniversary since the controversial Lwandle evictions, which occurred on 2 and 3 June 2014, GroundUp‘s Pharie Sefali interviewed former residents and spoke to Pierrinne Leukes, spokesperson for Mayor Patricia de Lille, to gage what has happened, and not happened, in the 12 months that have passed. Many of those who were evicted last year took part in a protest last week to voice their frustration and continued anger with the situation.

“Last year it was raining like this when they moved us, leaving us in the street. And today symbolizes exactly what happened then. After all the [saying] sorry and the promises made by the City of Cape Town and SANRAL, little has been done. And we do not know the way forward,” Vuyiswa Siwethu told GroundUp.

Read the article for more on Lwandle, and the (lack of) response to the situation:

Siwethu also says no one is talking to them about developments regarding the relocation promised to them by the City of Cape Town. In the first phase in the area where the shacks were destroyed last year, SANRAL built 224 zinc shacks and installed water, taps and toilets. In the second phase, another 260 shacks were built but there is neither water, toilets nor taps.

Related links:

 
Hostels, Homes, Museum: Memorialising migrant labour pasts in Lwandle, South Africa by Noëleen Murray and Leslie Witz unpacks the troubled past of Lwandle.

 

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  • Hostels, Homes, Museum: Memorialising migrant labour pasts in Lwandle, South Africa by Noëleen Murray and Leslie Witz
    EAN: 9781775820772
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