Up to one billion people live in slums around the world and the numbers are only expected to rise.[1. The number of people living in slums varies widely from source to source, but the UN has reported up to one billion. There is greater consensus on the fact that the numbers are rapidly increasing. http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/briefingpapers/cities/vitalstats.shtml] In this episode, we look at what drives the rapid urbanization around the world, how it leads to overcrowded slums and informal housing, and what can be done to improve the lives of the people living in these overcrowded areas.
Our special guest, Elizabeth Ramey, spent over two years working on local adult education and empowerment programs in one of Nairobi’s largest slums, Mukuru kwa Njenga. She helps us understand what life is like in this slum and some possible approaches to the problems she saw. Liz is a young professional who specializes in democracy and governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a Master of Science in African Studies from the University of Oxford and a Master of Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Liz has worked with the World Bank, The Government of Liberia, Vital Voices Global Partnership, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and numerous domestic and international nonprofits. Elizabeth is currently the Program Associate with the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. She also offers personal branding services through her organization, Mimi Ni.
Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching:
- UN-Habitat Urban Data
- Urban Squatters and Slums: Sites and Services
- Kenya Slum Upgrading Program
- World Bank: Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project
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