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Women planners in Africa do not constitute a critical mass: their numbers remain negligible and their output unrecognised, while mentors and role models still tend to be male. Women’s experiences are undervalued, and their knowledge is often excluded in policy, project planning, and implementation. This article arises not from systematic academic research but from confessional, reflective, pilot research based on personal experience and the experiences reported by 25 women planners between 1999 and 2004. It deliberately seeks to break the monotony of drawing from survey results which are often detached from experiential and emotional encounters. Using anecdotal material from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, it examines the training and professional environment of the ‘planners’ and discusses the emotions, expectations, and experiences of female planners in everyday encounters.

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