The state of African cities 2010: governance, inequality and urban land markets

The state of African cities 2010: governance, inequality and urban land markets

In the early 2040s, African cities will collectively be home to one billion, equivalent to the continent’s total population in 2009. This book argues that since cities are the future habitat for the majority of Africans, African governments should take early action to position themselves for predominantly urban populations.

The paper illustrates that formal urban markets prevent access to land by the majority of city dwellers all over Africa. As a result, informal markets fill this exclusion gap and this is where the overwhelming majority of African urban land transactions take place nowadays.

The document emphasises that construction standards should be set more realistically in order to facilitate rather than restrict the creation of housing and livelihoods. Furthermore, it highlights a set of recommended interventions areas:

  • for Northern Africa, property registration must be made simpler and more affordable
  • for Western Africa, it is incumbent on governments to release more public land in order to relieve demand pressure
  • for Eastern Africa, state-owned land should be converted to municipal land
  • for Central Africa, migrants are agents of construction, thus governments should take early steps to facilitate freedom of movement of people within and among countries
  • for Southern Africa, urban authorities must become more familiar with climate change and its incipient or prospective effects on their respective areas





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