When news first broke of the fatal shooting of 28 foreigners at the Splendid Hotel in Quagadougou, Burkina Faso, most reporters had only the remotest idea where the West African city is located. Those who did depicted it as a dreary inland administrative centre – David Tang, the Financial Times of London's resident cultural sophisticate, includes it on his list of the world's worst cities, ‘dirty, dusty and rotten’ (Tang, 2016: 1) – popular mainly with a few hundred foreign civilians working for faith-based relief agencies. In fact, Quagadougou is a culturally vibrant city of 1.5 million people, a third larger than Birmingham, England's second most populous city. Ouagadougou is hardly unique. Recent urbanization along the Gulf of Guinea (West Africa) ...