Rurban-conference 2016 – University of Copenhagen

Rural-Urban Connections in Sub-Saharan Africa

Welcome to the website for the conference ”Rural-Urban connections in Sub-Saharan Africa” which took place from the 25th to the 28th of January 2016 at the University of Copenhagen. Here you can find information from conference, including the sessions and themes discussed, the list of participants, presentations and keynote talks. Invitations and calls for papers for other future conferences can be found on the RurbanAfrica website.

Thank you very much to everyone involved for a successful conference and a great week with many interesting sessions, discussions, questions and social events.

Conference Concept Note

The conference addressed the dynamic relationships between rural and urban transformations in sub-Saharan Africa, which is also the focus of the EU funded research project RurbanAfrica. During the past 5-10 years, there has been a renewed academic and policy interest in understanding how socio-economic changes are intertwined with territorial changes, including new mobilities and complex processes of urbanization.

Central to these discussions are considerations on how societies and people of Sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing and responding to these changes. These are crucial questions given that Africa is the most rural continent whilst also having the highest actual (and projected) population growth rates. These considerations formed the catalyst for the conference, which aimed to explore how insights and visions of rural and urban transformations are translating into; structural changes in agriculture; international and domestic migration practices; rural livelihood dynamics and small town development; changing demographic and settlement dynamics in cities; and altering the demands and provisions of private and public services. The conference also sought to contribute to broader policy debates concerning development in sub-Saharan Africa by examining how observed transformations and trends in African rural-urban connections might have implications for poverty reduction, and the ongoing development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).