Africa is going through one of the fastest urbanization processes in the world and experiencing far-reaching transformations of urban/rural linkages. In fact, relations between Africa and the rest of the world are taking on an increasingly multi-polar dimension, involving new urban/rural dynamics.
Rural/urban linkages actors and dynamics are more and more shaped by the evolution of the relations between Africa and the rest of the world, progressively breaking from the colonial legacy and taking on an increasingly multi-polar dimension. These new actors, whose play an increasingly important role thanks to new communication tools (mobile technology, Internet) are: - The diasporas, who are more efficiently taking advantage of the relations between their host countries and their homelands. While Africa has long welcomed members of various diasporas - Indian, Lebanese, Chinese - diaspora flows towards other continents - Gulf countries, China, Europe, North America - contribute to shaping a new geography of capital mobility, products, ideas, etc. Rural/urban linkages involving metropolises from other continents (Gulf countries, Asia, etc.) are now increasingly common and varied, where they used to be limited to traditional regions for remote emigration, such as the Senegal River valley, the countryside of Mali and Morocco or the Cape Verde archipelago. - Economic actors from other countries - Chinese, Indian, Arab - undertaking major construction projects, buying or leasing land, taking over (more or less recently) commercial activities, etc. Bringing together researchers from Europe, Africa (Kenya) and emerging countries (especially China), this panel will offer an opportunity to share perspectives on these mutations, with an emphasis on evidencing the geographical impacts of these new actors and assessing their contribution to development.