Political change and urban space in West Africa

14 January 2016
Since the beginning of this decade, urban areas in West Africa have seen the rise of new patterns of social protest, with no link to party systems. Based on logics of generational tensions, these movements have been at the core of an alternating political power in Burkina Faso and Senegal. The reasons for this protests are mainly related to the high cost of living, improved living conditions and issues of governance. These movements appear to be partly the result of a significant political outreach process and a slow urban associative maturation. In addition, very high social and spatial inequalities in urban areas between a globalized elite and a majority of the population made poor and peripheral are the seeds of an antagonistic resentment. In this context, the outskirts of the cities stand for the place of urban growing discontent.
(Photo from website leral.net)