The Toponymic Ambiguity in Urban Africa: Historic and Contemporary View

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This article elaborates on the ambiguity as reflected from the urban nomenclature and toponymic inscriptions in postcolonial (sub-Saharan) Africa. The featuring of these problems – in terms of character, extent and implications – is made against the background of the current era of globalisation on the one hand, and the colonial past on the other. Both informative and perceptual-symbolic aspects of urban toponymic inscriptions (generic and specific) will be expanded on, showing continuity with regards to the French and the British colonial legacies. This contribution fills in some historiographic gaps, as to the place of Africa in urban management literature and toponymic studies, as well as to the place of toponymic studies in the literature on urban history and planning.

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Horizons in Geography, v. 84, p. 122-136