Repository logo

Entanglements in urban governance in new African cities: Appolonia City in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana

Published version

Repository DOI



Change log


Morrison, Nicky 


Large scale urban development projects, marketed as ‘new cities’ are emerging across the African continent. However, there is a limited empirical insight into how their partnerships, involving foreign investors and the local African landowners are brokered, and the extent to which local communities are engaged in such projects. Using the Appolonia City project in Ghana and drawing analytical insights from the DEDA urban governance framework, this paper scrutinises the partnership between Rendeavour, the foreign investor, and the Appolonia community, the owners of the land used for the project to interrogate the extent to which the community has been involved, and the benefits that have accrued. We find that the traditional rulers saw the project as an opportunity to secure community lands against ongoing unauthorised encroachments, and to assist the local economy. We argue that the 99-year lease granted to Rendeavour in return for a 10% equity stake does not reflect a partnership where concessions and benefits are equally distributed. The paper concludes by reflecting on the implications of the unequal partnership arrangements and the ensuing entangled urban governance process that set in motion project outcomes that do not necessarily reflect the needs of urban citizens.



Appolonia, community engagement, democratisation, entrepreneurialism, Ghana, New cities, partnership, urban governance

Journal Title

Journal of Urban Affairs

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Cambridge Trust, Cambridge Africa Scholarship, Smuts Memorial Fund, Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust

Version History

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
2024-04-05 14:45:50
Published version added
2022-05-05 23:30:35
* Selected version