Louisa Vogiazides – ‘Legal Empowerment Of The Poor’ Versus ‘Right To The City’ Implications For Access To Housing In Urban Africa

diva-portal 2012. This paper compares the major arguments found in the Legal Empowerment of the Poor (LEP) and the Right to the City discourses with particular reference to housing in urban Africa. After examining the major advocates, arguments and critiques associated with each discourse, it argues that they are based on two distinct sets of ideological and normative principles, with LEP being inspired by classical liberal ideas and Right to the City by Marxist thought. Consistent with these different ideological backgrounds, the two discourses
have different views on access to housing in urban Africa, with LEP proposing ownership formalisation and market inclusion as a solution to lack of access to adequate and affordable housing, while Right to the City calls for increased state intervention in housing provision. The paper concludes, however, that the different ideological backgrounds do not necessarily mean their policy recommendations are incompatible, and calls for further research into the influence of the two discourses on housing policies in African cities.

Read more (PDF-format): http://www.diva-portal.org/FULLTEXT01.pdf

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Laghukatha – Het ZKV in de Hindi-Literatuur


Foto Lodewijk Brunt

In Nederland is de laatste jaren een nieuw literair genre van de grond gekomen: het zeer korte verhaal, oftewel ‘zkv’. In sommige literaire tradities buiten Nederland bestaat zo’n genre al langer. India is een voorbeeld: het zeer korte verhaal is hier terug te voeren op oude fabels en volksvertellingen, en komt in het Hindi voor vanaf de tijd dat het moderne Hindi is ontstaan (tweede helft 19e eeuw). Het zkv heeft zich in verscheidene tijdvakken en maatschappelijke constellaties weten te handhaven. Ten tijde van de Moghul-dynastie (van de 16e tot de tweede helft van de 19e eeuw) bestond in het Urdu (een zustertaal van het Hindi) een levendige traditie van schetsen en raadsels en cynische commentaren op het doen en laten van de machthebbers. In het midden van de negentiende eeuw bloeide de ‘caféliteratuur’, waaronder de poëzie, als nooit tevoren; aan het hof van de laatste Moghul-keizer Zafar in Delhi, maar zeker ook daarbuiten en onder ‘gewone’ mensen.[1] Read more

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Laghukatha – ZKV’s uit India. Terrorisme, Pepsi Cola, Vrees voor de toekomst, Klem


click to enlarge

Yograj Prabhakar – Terrorisme 

Tenslotte schoot de politie de ongrijpbare terrorist dood en de inspecteur die hem had gedood, werd uitbundig geprezen om zijn moed en er werd bekend gemaakt dat hem een groot eerbetoon ten deel zou vallen. Ook zouden de media hem vandaag in groten getale komen interviewen. In verband hiermee kwam deze dappere inspecteur kijken hoe de voorbereidingen verliepen.
“Is alles klaar?” vroeg hij aan een ondergeschikte.
“Ja meneer.”
“Heeft iemand het lijk geïdentificeerd?”
“Nee meneer, het gezicht was zo verminkt dat het onmogelijk was hem te herkennen.”
“Is er iemand gekomen om het lijk op te vragen?”
“Nee meneer.”
“Oké. Wil iemand hier nog iets over vragen of zeggen?”
Op dat moment fluisterde een agent hem in het oor: “Wat doen we met z’n riksja, meneer?” Read more

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Slum Stories: Kenya – Going To The Toilet In A Slum

This video is part of the Amnesty International www.SlumStories.org project. An online videochannel about the life in slums in different parts of the world.
All videos can be watched with English, Arab, French, Spanish, German and Dutch subtitles.

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Alhassan Ziblim – The Dynamics Of Informal Settlements Upgrading In South Africa: Legislative And Policy Context, Problems, Tensions, And Contradictions

August, 2013. Approximately 1.2 million households in South Africa currently live in informal  settlements, under very precarious conditions, which pose serious threat to their health, safety, and security. Actual figures are likely higher than reported. Access to  adequate housing remains a big challenge in South Africa, notwithstanding  continuous efforts since 1994, to deliver affordable housing to the poor, through various national housing subsidy schemes. Against this backdrop, the government  introduced groundbreaking housing policy reforms in 2004, which included a
programme devoted to the upgrading of informal settlements. The new initiative, crowned as the “Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme” (UISP), had the  objective to “eradicate” all informal settlements by 2014.

After almost a decade of  implementation, and practically less than a year to its initial “slum eradication”  deadline of 2014, this study sets out to explore the policy dynamics, and  implementation of the UISP, through the lens of good governance. It seeks to identify  and flesh out the problems and challenges of the programme, in order to inform policy learning. The study draws relevant information from books, journal articles,  national policy documents, publications and news reports, as well as internet sources.  In general, while the findings pinpoint the existence of comprehensive national  legislative and policy frameworks in support of the slum upgrading initiative, the  evidence suggest that, the goal of slum eradication is still farfetched, due to several  problems and challenges. Indeed, there is an apparent gap between the policy  rhetoric, and the reality of implementation, characterised by notable inconsistencies, tensions, and problems.

These problems and challenges have so far hindered the  programme‟s ability to make realistic improvements in the lives of slum dwellers. In  effect, the report identifies the following telling governance challenges to be in need  of urgent attention by policy makers:
– Failure by municipalities to adhere to the basic principles of structured in situ upgrading as opposed to total redevelopment of slums; the
– The nominal or lack of community involvement and choice in decisions of slums upgrading;
– The lack of capacity and material resource shortages, that leads sometimes to delays in project implementation.

Read more: http://globalhousingindicators.org/

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The National Art Gallery, A Shining Gem On Rwesero Hill


The National Art Gallery on top of Rwesero Hill
Photo Lia Gieling

Not many people probably know that The National Art Gallery (The NAG) in Nyanza is since 2006 a contemporary arts museum in Rwanda. It is even the only one in the great lakes district. The classical building hosting this museum has been constructed at the end of the fifties of the past century and is beautifully located in the scenic hills, just outside Nyanza. It was built for Rwanda’s last king Matara III Rudahigwa, who died in 1959, just before he would move into his modern palace.. Since Mutara’s death, the palace has hosted several judicial institutes, like the High Court and the Supreme Court. The late archeologist and visionair prof. dr. Celestin Kanimba, former DG of INMR, regarded contemporary art as one of the healing means to recover from the1994 genocide. The NAG is part of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda, which includes 5 various national museums.

Architecture and location
The building, designed by Belgian architect Robert Quintet, has been constructed at the end of the 1950’s. It is beautifully located on top of Rwesero hill. The building and location itself can be experienced as an excellent typical Rwandese attraction, as a masterly mixture of landscape, colonial architecture and royal history.
It turned out to be a lucky shot to change the destiny of the palace into a museum.
In the first place because of the architecture and its surroundings. But even more important is its location in the city of Nyanza, were in former ‘royal’ days Rwandan culture was flourishing. The King’s Palace Museum is near and both museums are located far away from noisy cities like Kigali and Huye. Read more

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