the African City Centre in a contemporary global context
African cities are currently amongst the fastest growing in the world. Western and Eastern societies are reviewing the form, processes and roles of the postindustrial era in the looming shadow of global warming and global economic stress. African cities are more often than not the places where products or processes, which are now unacceptable in a post industrial environments or which can be obtained more cost-effectively in Africa, occur to feed the insatiable need for growth in the 24/7 global economy – these include large scale exploitation of unprocessed resources and industrial production with accompanying large scale negative impact on the natural environment, lack of local beneficiation and appropriate infrastructure delivery as well as unsustainable and exploitative labour practice. Where evolution of Western and Eastern development will leave the African City is uncertain. However, African Cities are participating in the global economy and global culture. It is necessary to understand the role of African cities in the contemporary global context, how they are resourced and resourcing themselves, to what extent African cities have evolved individual patterns of form, growth and survival, and what the role of the African Diaspora may be in the development of African Cities. With this, the role of the City Centre as a source of the City, in the ecology of resourcing the City and its manifestations in terms of urban processes, form and architecture is explored vis-à-vis the abovementioned identity of African Cities.