African Cities and Regional Trade in Historical Perspective: Implications for Contemporary Globalization Trends

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Globalization, pre-colonial Africa, cities, towns, colonialism, international trade

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This paper has three objectives. First, to identify pre-colonial African towns of regional and international significance and to highlight their role as centers of long distance trade, art and craft; second, to identify and discuss the major factors that contributed to weakening the position of these towns in the global socio-economic arena; and third, to suggest steps that can be taken to transform African towns in particular, and the continent in general, into active participants in contemporary globalization processes. The suggested actions entail investing in, and promoting the use of, modern information technologies; improving conventional mailing systems; improving road and other transport facilities; and requiring MNCs to contribute meaningfully to development efforts in their host locales and host countries.

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Cities, v. 23, issue 1, p. 18-29