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This month the Lagos State Government has begun demolishing Makoko, one of the world's most iconic informal settlements, evicting the community with a violence that has resulted in the death of at least one neighbouring resident, and in direct contravention of international law.

The Economist conference 'Future Cities: managing Africa's urban transformation' was held in Lagos last month. A rosy picture for foreign investors, but what kind of future is being offered the ordinary African?

While governments remain focused on economic indicators and the image a city projects, writers who wish to remain egalitarian must discount both of these in favour of the basic needs of all people.

From the Archives

Explaining the fuel crisis hitting Nigeria's cities

Despite being one of the world's largest producers and exporters of oil, Nigeria has been gripped by fuel scarcity at its filling stations for a week. A round-up of articles attempting to explain the current crisis.

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On Lagos

But none of the reasons claimed by the Ministry justify sending out reckless men with weapons convinced of their authority to kill and to terrorise a community who are merely trying to lead economically rational lives in the name of urban 'beautification'.

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The Global Urbanist is an online magazine reviewing urban affairs and urban development issues in cities throughout the developed and developing world.

Its readers are drawn from the urban policy and international development sectors, and include urban planners, officers in local, national or international government agencies, civil society leaders, and researchers.

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