Bolstering Urbanization Efforts : Africa’s Approach to the New Urban Agenda Chapter 4

This book chapter discusses Africa’s New Urban Agenda. The question for African cities as they expand in population and economic importance is twofold: How to grow in ways that are both sustainable and inclusive? And, what forms of governance can encourage sustainable physical and economic growth while also housing the capacity to enable it? These questions have grown more complex as city responsibilities have increased. The following article: Why is strengthening cities in Africa important when considering political decisions and policy making? discusses urban service delivery, outpacing rural delivery in Africa. Service delivery in Africa continues to be a problem, though urban areas offer much more access to vital services such as water, sanitation, and electricity. Indeed, average access has increased in both rural and urban areas. However, as these country snapshots indicate, while access remains low in many countries, urban areas benefit much more. The following article is about the growth in population density. The number of people per square kilometer in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased over the last 25 years at a rate almost double any other region of the world. While some countries, namely Mauritius, Rwanda, Burundi, and Comoros, are among the most densely populated globally, even countries in Africa that are less densely populated have seen their densities double since 1990. Financing Tools for Cities - the revenue potential and stability of municipal financing tools in Africa. Various tools to raise revenues are available to African cities, though their potential success and stability vary. The African Development Bank asked experts to rank financing tools on these factors in order to shed light on their reliability. Housing Africa : Adequately housing Africa’s growing and urbanizing population is an increasing challenge for policy makers and the private sector. According to a recent study by McKinsey, by 2025 over 35 million housing units will be needed in Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa alone, and over 90% of Africa’s young population will live in urban areas. Supporting secondary cities: Rapid urbanization is inevitable in Africa given its demographic structure and vulnerability to climate change. Thus, city planners are often left with the challenge of managing urbanization rather than designing optimal city size, since both pull and push factors affect urbanization. Successfully managing Africa’s urbanization thus involves finding the balance between getting the basics right in mega cities and promoting population and industrial decentralization into secondary cities.