Desired and Achieved Urbanisation in Africa: In Search of Appropriate Tooling for a Sustainable Transformation

Desired and Achieved Urbanisation in Africa: In Search of Appropriate Tooling for a Sustainable Transformation

Innocent Chirisa (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe), Abraham Rajab Matamanda (University of Free State, South Africa) and Liaison Mukarwi (University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2659-9.ch005

Abstract

The chapter aims to make a nuanced contribution in plugging out the mentioned gaps using human (skilled, managerial, etc.) and material (digital technology, financial, etc.) resources available or developable locally with or without global aid support system. The study is a case study based and uses examples of Cape Town, Abuja, Harare, Nairobi, Cairo and Kinshasa, these being examples of cities where plans and visions have been or are being put in place to ensure that urbanisation is a process that emerges on strategically laid out platform. Nevertheless, achieving that is a continuous struggle because diverging forces are also at play in these cities. The chapter recommends capacity building and professionalization of the conduct of business by these authorities to ensure sustainable urbanisation. It also argues for a planning thought that makes the optimal mix of both local and international resources towards achieving sustainable urbanisation in the various cities of Africa.
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The Analytical And Conceptual Framework

The desired urbanisation is likened to sustainable urbanisation which epitomises the hallmark of contemporary urbanisation. However, this remains utopia given that a multiplicity of challenges faced ultimately stifle the success of sustainable urbanisation in Africa; the achievable urbanisation contradicts what is desired. The conceptual framework in Figure 1 attempts to explain the situation that emerges in relation to the desired and achievable urbanisation in Africa.

Figure 1.

Conceptual Framework

Source: Authors’ Creation (2016)

The desired urbanisation remains utopia for most African countries considering that there are various issues that stifle the achievement of this desired urbanisation. The issues include, poor governance, lack of human, technical and financial resources, poor urban or landuse planning and inadequate infrastructure. Africa lags behind in terms of competent human resources, financial resources to champion urban development, deficit of up to date technology. Poor governance has allowed corruption, abuse of public funds and political interference into the affairs of local authorities. The achievable urbanisation is that which is marked by informality, high pollution, inadequate services and infrastructure and increased poverty. In this regard city fathers and planners have to formulate appropriate policies that accommodate the urban poor and informality such that the emerging urban forms are sustained.

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