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 November 1997    

UNU Nexions review

The Urban Challenge in Africa: Growth and Management of Its Large Cities
Edited by Carole Rakodi
UNU Press; 642 pages; $40

The contributors to this book argue that the manifestation and impact of global forces in Africa are more contradictory than in many other parts of the world and that they are often negative. These issues are discussed throughout the book's four parts.

In part one, the contributors analyse the dynamics of urbanization in Africa by looking at how the continent's integration into the global economy influences its cities. In part two, case studies on some of Africa's largest and most significant cities are presented. Part three looks at two things: how cities work and how people function within them. And part four examines ways of managing urban growth.

The contributors conclude that the continued growth of large cities is, in part, due to natural population increases and rural-to-urban migration - both of which show little sign of slowing down in the near future. They also predict that the current trend of foreign investors being interested in Africa's primary resources but being uninterested in investing in labour-intensive manufacturing is unlikely to change.

Freshwater Resources in Arid Lands
Edited by Juha I. Uitto and Jutta Schneider
UNU Press; 108 pages; $12.95

This book is based on the UNU's Fifth Global Environmental Forum. The book focuses on the limited freshwater resources in arid lands, with emphasis on the Middle East and Asia. Issues covered include historical perspectives on how people in dry environments have developed ingenious survival strategies; modern technologies such as desalinization of sea water and underground dams for water-scarce islands; and the impact of global warming on freshwater resources.

The book's contributors have two main conclusions. One is that improvements in the water supply and the efficient management of water demand are equally important goals. The other is that a more economical use of limited freshwater resources will be essential for achieving sustain-able development.

A New Europe in the Changing Global System
Edited by Richard Falk and Tamas Szentes
UNU Press; 262 pages; $25

This book looks at the impact that the end of the Cold War has had on Europe's security and development prospects. A wide range of perspectives are considered, including political, economic and cultural assessments. The focus is on the problems that face Eastern Europe in this new era. The book also emphasizes the global setting within which European countries will act.

Books on sale

The UNU Press is having a warehouse clearance sale on more than 200 book titles. Prices have been slashed by as much as 75 per cent. Visit the publications section of the UNU homepage at for a complete list of the books on sale and purchasing instructions. Sale prices are available only by ordering directly.

Of a more personnel nature + Obituries Contents UNU Chosen as Peter Teravainen's preferred charity