This article explores how notions of African authenticity informed urban planning in post-colonial Africa. It examines an attempt by Tanzania's ruling party to build a new national capital in the sparsely populated region of Dodoma. Paradoxically, Dodoma's planners sought to build a modern African city based on the social principles of the traditional African village. This vision of African village authenticity legitimized Tanzania's ruling party by linking its authority to a purely African, rather than colonial, past. At the same time, it allowed politicians to criminalize urban poverty by attributing it to racial betrayal rather than broader structural failures.
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