Fellowship: Rocca Dissertation Research
Fellowship Year(s): 2016
Project/Theme Title: Marketing Dakar: The politics of value in urban West Africa
Abstracts: The City of Dakar is the first city in West Africa to receive a credit rating and is anticipated to issue West Africa’s first sub-national bond without the sovereign guarantee of the nation state. Dakar’s bond is a flagship development model touted by experts as a landmark shift away from western development aid and towards regional investment. Bond funds will be used to relocate illegal, open-air street markets from the city’s center by building a network of shopping centers intended to enclose and relocate the markets. Street traders are required to purchase stalls in the new buildings, which will be the key source of revenue for making returns on the bond. This dissertation research will examine a question central to a rapidly urbanizing Africa: How are local governments leveraging wealth from the urban popular economy and regional financial markets to address contemporary concerns in the urban built environment?