Is this Africa’s version of Elysium?


Elysium refers to the Matt Damon movie about a privatized space colony for the wealthy. A recent article, New, privatized African city heralds climate apartheid, in the Guardian about the Eko Atlantic project to build an ultra modern city off the coast of Lagos, was shared by a student in this semester’s undergraduate planning for sustainability class.

The Guardian’s title is provocative, the project is controversial, but there are many sides to the argument (see the passionate comments below the article). Follow the link above to read the article, and learn more about Eko Atlantic project here, here and here.

You can get a feel for the scope of the venture in this video:


2 thoughts on “Is this Africa’s version of Elysium?

  1. ideo is provocative but more so because so many local governments in Africa face obstacles – either inherited from exclusionary ‘apartheid’ or colonialism or due to corruption and resource constraints (these hurdles are often related..). Mark Swilling and Eve Annecke, founders of the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, South Africa, reflect on what faces African countries – and many countries around the world in similar situations – in their book, “Just Transitions: Explorations of Sustainability in an Unfair World”:

    “We want, in particular, to counteract the distinct possibility of an unjust transition to a more ecologically viable and lower carbon world. As many of the world’s largest companies gear up for the next industrial revolution, South Africans redouble their efforts to remain wedded to c.20th technologies and economic systems. If African countries refuse to recognise that their economic take off is taking place when many of the old economic and techno-infrastructural certainties are falling away, the result will be an unjust transition as others take advantage of the transitions underway while others fail to see what is going on…” – Swilling & Annecke, 2012

    The excerpt goes beyond a call to help decision-makers ‘see the reality’ (conventional policy advisory) and emphasizes that in addition to doing the right thing, i.e. “helping our environment cope”, there is a development benefit (jobs etc) of responding to resource constraints. So although Lagos’ Eko project is controversial, it is also timely and market-responsive… some might argue a controversial trend-setter… (if you’re left behind..)

  2. Very Interesting Video… and sad to see it happening in 2013
    I wonder if there are lessons learned from Dubai waterfront and shore line modification projects.

    Someone should inform these decision makers that the environment will not cope much with such projects and that the price is paid by the future generations.

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