Francis Owusu  PhD

Francis Owusu PhD

Chair, Community and Regional Planning
Professor, Community and Regional Planning
Community & Regional Planning



Campus Office: 146 Design

Mailing Address
Community and Regional Planning Department
158 College of Design
Ames, IA, 50011


Research Interests

Professor Owusu’s research focuses on Africa and has explored several topics including urban development and livelihoods issues, public sector reforms and capacity building, urban food systems and sustainable development, and the relationship between neoliberalization, globalization and development policy. Originally from Ghana, he has conducted research on these topics in several African countries and has authored several journal articles, book chapters, book reviews and reports. His work has been published in journal such as Journal of Planning Education and Research, Public Administration and Development, World Development, The Canadian Geographer, Canadian Journal of African Studies. Africa Today, Political Geography, African Development Review, Development Policy Review and several others. He is a co-editor of a forthcoming book Managing Africa's Natural Resources: Capacities for Development, published by Palgrave. He also edited/co-edited a special issue of GeoJournal: An International Journal of Human Geography and Environmental Sciences (Vol. 62, No.1-2, 2005) and Progress in Development Studies (Vol. 12, No 2&3, 2012). He has received several research awards, including the Best Economic Geography Dissertation Award for 2001, the 2013 College of Design Faculty Research Award, and the 2015 Kwadwo Konadu-Agyeman Distinguished Scholar Award in African Geography from the Africa Speciality Group of the Association of American Geographers. He has consulted for several international organizations, including the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR), the World Bank, and the Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

Current Projects

  • Neoliberalism, Globalization and Development Policy in Africa
  • Urbanization and Change in Africa
  • Capacity development in Africa
  • Sustainability and natural resource management
  • Globalization and Changing consumption patterns


PhD, Geography, University of Minnesota, 2000

MA, Geography, Carleton University, Canada, 1992

MA, Population Studies, United Nations Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana, 1990

BA, Geography with Archaeology, University of Ghana, 1987



Selected Publications