The Integration of Urban Growth and Industrial Policies in Africa: Private Sector Takes Command

The Integration of Urban Growth and Industrial Policies in Africa: Private Sector Takes Command

Muhammad Aliyu Suleiman (King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia) and Umar G. Benna (Benna Associates, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7625-9.ch006

Abstract

Africa is the last of the major global regions to urbanize and to economically benefit therefrom largely due to centuries of the fragmented spatial system by geographic, trading zone, colonial experiences, and logistics barriers. Recently, however, the integration of African urban spatial structure was spearheaded by the private sector under the guidance of the public sector. This chapter analyzes the goals driving integration, the tools used by private and the public sectors in setting the stage for integrative urban growth through industrialization, and then identifies the future opportunities and challenges in sustaining the momentum. The chapter comprises of an introduction, a conceptual framework, the gluing elements, the review of the development guidance system, opportunities and challenges ahead, future research direction, and conclusion.
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1. Introduction

Africa is viewed conventionally to be down for so long and will be very hard to ever realize and grow to its fullest potentials. It possesses 20 percent of the world's land and 15 percent of the world population but contributes little to the global economics market value (Aré, et al., 2010). From the east to a lesser degree to the west, its economy is dominated by Asia and South America respectively. Despite its endowment with natural and human resources, Africa is bewildered with poverty, health problems, geopolitical crises and imprinting effects of colonialism. However, spearheaded by the private sector under the guidance of the public sector these narratives have begun to change over the last decade. Scores of African companies have been competing and rapidly expanding on the global corporate map (Aré, et al., 2010; Dupoux, Ermias, heuzé, Niavas, & Kimani, 2014). The Economist magazine in 2000, declared Africa “hopeless” (the conventional view), revised its stands in 2011 to “rising” and in the year 2013, it further revised its assessmentent of Africa to “aspiring” (Dupoux, et al., 2014).

Africa, which is largely ignored in international ranking and league tables since in the 80s is now receiving the attention and investmentent of multinational; growth rate is rising, democracy and bureaucratic confidence is gradually diminishing many long-runninging wars and conflicts. There are improvement in infrastructure and connectivity across the board (Aré, et al., 2010; Dupoux, et al., 2014). However, to sustain growth, transform economyonmy and change to higher productivity, Africa needs well-functioning urban system. Africa remains largely spatial rural areas with poor roads and logistics hubs networks transportationtion of goods and high-value services across cities, countries, and regions. Cities are central to increase in productivity as the efficiency of goods and service productions is tied to the urban system (World Bank Group, 2016). WBG (2016) gives a typical examples of the role of an effective urban systems in increasing the productivity and efficiency of goods and services, described as follow; verse area of farming are largely in a remote rural areas, this requires small cities to connect farmers to both the input and output market and as well serves as a market aggregation. Cities which are medium in size, needs an effective and efficient logistics hubs for transportport of goods and can serves as places of larger local markets. Lastly, megacitiesties play roles of connecting the economy from region to region and to the entire world serves as nodes for valued services.

Africa is the last of the major global regions to urbanize after Asia, Europe, North America and South America (Aré, et al., 2010; Dupoux, Ivers, Niavas, & Chraïti, 2018). It is also the last to economically benefit from urbanization largely due to centuries of the fragmented spatial system by geographic, trading zone, colonial experiences, and logistics barriers (Dupoux et al., 2018). Not only is Africa spatially fragmented, industrial tools as the means of transforming its cities into the engines of growth has been disconnected from urban growth policies. These two development tools are increasingly being viewed by African leaders as not complemententing each other but vital to Africa's future growth and development (Economic Commission for Africa, 2017).

Urbanization is generally recognized as a multi-facet process with profound implications for Africa’s growth and transformation (Benna & Garba, 2016). The rate and scale of Africa's urbanizareion is influencing the continent's demographic profile, economic, environmental and social development (Chirisa, Maphosa, Zanamwe, Bandauko, & Mukarwi, 2016). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2014) projects that by 2035 about half of Africa’s population will be living in cities, triggering substantial demands for new jobs, urban social and physical services and infrastructure, but generating advantages for economic growth. By 2050 the projected urban population will be 60% and will be the world’s youngest.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Development Partner: Refers to state, organization, or institution that is committed to an undertaking with another or others in the development process.

Greenfield Investment: When an institution or business organization commits capital in a state starting from scratch with a complete supply chain industrial plant.

Trading: Refers to an action of buying and selling of goods and services.

Regional Integration: This refers to the free movement of goods and services across states within the same region creating a balanced development among member states.

Key Actors: Refers to various entities or stakeholders that are directly involved in the main activities.

Business Friendly: Refers to how easy an individuals or organizations find it to do business with a state.

Development Goal: Needs to be substantial and unambiguous objectives a state or institution aspire to attain.

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