What I do

I research and teach African development. My main research interests are in institutions and poverty. In particular, I research property rights to urban land as an intervention into slums and their effects on urban poverty in Sub-Saharan African Cities. Essentially, I investigate homeownership among the poor in African cities. I also research housing interventions in the United States, specifically the housing first model as a solution to chronic homelessness. I also research foreign aid. With regard to community engagement at DU, I am involved in research on women and people of color in the construction trades. I offer three graduate courses; INTS 4427 - Political Economy of Sustainable Development in Africa, INTS 4350 - Economic Development, and the Inequality and Inclusive Growth portion of INTS 4091 - Great Issues in International Affairs. I also offer an undergraduate course INTS 3365 - African Development: Patterns and Issues. I am also proud to be a Core Faculty member of the Africa Center and the Faculty Advisor for Students for Africa in the Korbel School.


International Development; Intractable problems in development; Slums in developing countries

Professional Biography

I am an Assistant Professor of African Studies at University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. My research focuses on the housing challenges that come with urbanization such as slums in African countries and homelessness in the United States. Specifically, I am interested in homeownership and 'Housing First' as interventions. In the African context, I focus on the crisis of slums and the effects of property rights in Cape Town, Lusaka, Nairobi and Luanda. I also study foreign aid and in particular financing of slum upgrading. I have also studies institutions as forms of capital as well as innovative interventions for ending poverty in general and urban poverty in particular. I have previously worked for the United Nations Development Program on an environment project in Zambia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. My most recent book, The Homeowner Ideology is currently in production at University of Michigan Press. My first book was Globalization and Africa in the Twenty First Century: A Zambian Perspective. I have published several articles in top tier urban studies journals on homeownership and property rights, on institutional capital and urban poverty, as well as on the 'Housing First' model. I hold a PhD in Sociology, an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and a BA from University of Zambia. In the United States, I was a Fox International Fellow at Yale University and attended summer school on Development and Inequality in the Global South at Brown University. I have also attended summer school at University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Sociology of Development, University of Cape Town , 2015
  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Cape Town, 2014
  • Certificate, International and Area Studies, Yale University, 2012
  • Certificate, Development and Inequality in the Global South, Brown University, 2010
  • MA, Development Studies, University of Cape Town, 2009
  • BA, Public Administration and Development Studies, University of Zambia, 2005

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Human Subjects Research

Professional Affiliations

  • African Studies Association
  • International Studies Association
  • American Sociological Association