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Economia Global e Gestão

versão impressa ISSN 0873-7444

Economia Global e Gestão v.12 n.3 Lisboa dez. 2007


The African revolution: urban commerce and the informal economy*

Keith Hart**



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* Lecture for a conference «Angola em Movimento: sociabilidades e trocas económicas informais», coordinated by Marzia Grassi, ICS, Lisbon, 27th March 2007.

**Keith Hart

Keith Hart is Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths University in London. He has taught on both sides of the Atlantic: a long time was spent at Cambridge where he was Director of the African Studies Centre but he has also worked at Yale, Chicago, Michigan, West Indies University, McGill, Manchester and East Anglia. He spent two years in Ghana between 1965 and 1968 preparing his PhD in social anthropology, Cambridge University. This gave rise to the informal economy concept which contributes to the studies of development. Since then, he has also worked as a consultant, editor and “gambler”. He has conducted research in the Caribbean, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and South Africa and has published extensively in the area of economic anthropology, and particularly on the importance of money. He organised a conference on Angola in Cambridge in 1994. He is the author of The Political Economy of West African Agriculture (1982), (editor with J. Lewis) Why Angola Matters (1995), The Memory Bank: money in an unequal world (2000) and The Hit Man’s Dilemma: or business, personal and impersonal (2005). He is currently writing the book: The African Revolution: Africa in the 21st century world. Much of his work can be consulted at