The Commons explores the many forms of development being championed by Africa’s residents, users, and citizens. In addition to managing property and shared tangible and intangible resources collectively, communities are experimenting with a concept of “commoning” founded on values such as community, engagement, reciprocity, and trust. In practice, their approach takes the form of land-based commons, housing cooperatives, hybrid cultural spaces or places for innovation, and collaborative digital platforms. The purpose of this book, where observation of historical and recent practices converges with new theories within commons scholarship, is not to promote commons themselves. Rather, it examines the tensions, drivers of change, and opportunities that surround commons dynamics in Africa. This book highlights the abundance of commons-based entrepreneurial processes in Sub-Saharan Africa and shows that partnerships between African public authorities and communities involved in the commons can be powerful drivers of sustainable development for the continent.
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