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ThienVinh Nguyen


Office: +44 (0) 20 7679 0527
Twitter: @thienvinh


Urban development, governance, and oil windfalls in an African city:
The case of Sekondi-Takoradi (Ghana)

My research explores the themes of urban development, governance, and the potential for poverty alleviation in light of recent oil windfalls in the city of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana. The discovery of commercial quantities of oil in 2007 has been marked by the galvanisation of civil society groups (international and national), traditional authorities, different levels of Ghanaian government, and transnational companies (and their respective governments, which include the UK, US, and China) wishing to benefit from the promise of oil. Under this political upheaval, vis-à-vis heightened activity, perceptions, and opportunities, my research investigates the ways in which these different actors and groups coordinate and maneuver for their interests, while shaping the development of this city. Although cities are constantly moving, transforming, and constructing, these moments of profound change provide a rich and dynamic context for studying the reconfigurations of urban life and politics, beyond the banal and towards uncovering the potentialities of a city.


Charlotte Lemanski, UCL Geography
Jennifer Robinson
, UCL Geography


2012-2015, UCL Graduate Research Scholarship
2012-2015, UCL Overseas Graduate Research Scholarship
2012, SYLFF Research Abroad Fellowship


UCL – University College London (PhD)

Columbia University (MA)
UCLA – University of California, Los Angeles (BA)


Africa Research Students Network (AfNet)
Participatory, Activist, and Research Network (PARN)
UCL Urban Lab
London Fungi Society