Onyanta Adama-Ajonye


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Works at Department of Human Geography
Telephone 08-16 48 27
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room X 413
Postal address Kulturgeografiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


Master’s Programme ‘Globalization, Environment and Social Change’
Supervision of Master’s students


My research is primarily concerned with urban governance processes and service delivery in African cities. I have a special interest in how specific historical and political conditions combine with global processes to shape governance institutions and relations. My empirical work has focused mainly on Municipal Solid Waste Management in Nigeria. I have paid particular attention to the relations of power within and between the complex networks of actors and the livelihood survival strategies of marginalized groups. My research on Informal Sector Solid Waste Management provides a unique set of perspectives into the resource recovery potentials, the entrepreneurial and innovative skills of actors and insights into how the sector is differentiated and traversed by hierarchies, power relations and inequalities structured along the lines of gender, age, ethnicity and income.

Current Project

Currently part of a group project titled ‘The demise of the informal city? Economic growth and street work in urban Africa’ funded by the Swedish Research Council. The aim is to shed light on the varied forces that are currently reworking central city areas in selected African cities. The main research questions are: what are the new constellations of actors and interests driving the contemporary transformation of central city areas; what disciplinary technologies are being deployed to control actors and activities perceived as illegitimate in central city areas and what conflicts emerge; and how do people depending on the street for survival experience and respond to the re-making of central city areas? The project seeks to compare rather than generalize about the place-specific transformations currently reshaping central city areas and the space-making practices of marginalized groups.


Selected Publications

Adama, O. (2017). Urban imaginaries: funding mega infrastructure projects in Lagos, Nigeria. GeoJournal. DO1. 10.1007/s10708-016-8

Adama, O. (2016). Cities, municipal solid waste management, and climate change: perspectives from the South. Geography Compass, 10 (12)

D01: 10.1111/geco3.12299

Adama, O & Nzeadibe, C (Eds.) (2016) Dealing with Waste: Resource Recovery and Entrepreneurship in Informal Solid Waste Management in African cities. New Jersey: Africa World/Red Sea Press 

Nzeadibe, C & Adama, O. (2015). Ingrained inequalities? Deconstructing gendered spaces in the informal waste economy of Nigeria. Urban Forum 12 (2), 113 - 130

Adama, O. (2014). Marginalisation and integration within the urban informal economy: the case of child waste pickers in Kaduna, Nigeria. International Development Planning Review, 36 (2), 155-180

Adama, O. (2012). Urban Livelihoods and Social Networks: emerging relations in informal sector recycling in Kaduna, Nigeria, Urban Forum, 23 (4), 449-466

Adama, O. (2012). Urban Governance and Spatial Inequality in Service Delivery: a case study of Abuja, Nigeria. Waste Management and Research, 30 (9), 991-998

Adama, O. (2007). Governing from Above Solid Waste Management in Nigeria’s New Capital City of Abuja. Doctoral thesis. Stockholm Studies in Human Geography 17, Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International


Last updated: May 24, 2018

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