The power of mining: the fall of gold and rise of Johannesburg.

The City of Johannesburg has developed through the entire life-cycle of the mining industry. In its early years, its development was tied to the varying, but generally upward, fortunes of the mining industry. During this time, gold mining in Johannesburg, and along the Witwatersrand, propelled the growth of South Africa’s national economy into a phase of self-sustained development, and created an integrated labour market across southern Africa. It also played a key role in shaping the racial oligarchy that dominated South Africa until the fall of apartheid in the 1990s. However, gold was eventually to decline, first in the areas around Johannesburg, and then elsewhere. The growth of Johannesburg…

Kinshasa: An Urban Elite Considers City, Nation And State

The declining salience of the nation state has led to an interest in whether other socially constructed forms, such as the city, have replaced it as a source of accumulation, belief and identity. This article seeks to explore whether this is true in the case of the capital of one of Africa’s least successful states, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A survey explored the views towards the city of Kinshasa on the past of a variety of middle-class professional people as potential leaders in different occupations resident in different quarters of the city with roots in different parts of the DRC. Despite their…

Vulnerability of Poor Urban Coastal Communities to Flooding in Lagos, Nigeria

This paper considers the risks from and vulnerabilities to flooding in four urban poor communities close to the coast in Lagos, Nigeria. Drawing on interviews with inhabitants and key informants and also on group discussions, it documents the scale and frequency of flooding in these settlements and the impacts, as well as the individual, household and community responses. It also considers the factors that have contributed to increasing flood risks in Lagos, including the uncontrolled expansion of the built-up area, the lack of infrastructure and the failure not only to expand stormwater drainage but also…

Rental Value Around Hvotl Facilities In Residential Neighborhoods Of Metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria

There has been a constant debate that High Voltage Overhead Transmission Lines (HVOTLs) facilitate residential property values diminution. This study therefore tries to capture the pattern of residential property rental values around HVOTLs using a rent comparison basis within Lagos metropolis. Questionnaires were distributed to Estate Surveyors and Valuers, residents within 200m to power lines in Surulere and Alimosho areas of Lagos coupled with an indepth interview with the Managers and field officers of the Akangba and Alimosho PHCN…

Packaging Township Development Projects

This module will examine how the inputs for successful township development projects can be mobilised and managed through the course of a project. Any physical intervention project – be it the establishment of a node, an activity spine or improving an open space system – needs four inputs to be mobilised and applied: 1. Land, 2. Capital, 3. Human resources and skills and 4. Statutory approvals and authorisations. To secure these inputs, a fifth condition is required: leadership. Someone needs to drive the complex…

The Analysis of Urban Poverty in Ethiopia

This paper analyses urban poverty in Ethiopia using two rounds of household survey data from the Ethiopian Urban Household survey. Poverty estimates are provided to highlight the degree of deprivation experienced by urban Ethiopians. The results show that the incidence of urban poverty is high with a head count index of 41 percent in 1994 and 43 percent in 2000. The results from the decomposition of poverty into growth and inequality effects confirm that…

The Urban Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction

This paper challenges several common myths that cloud discourse about urban development in Africa. It finds that urbanization in the region is not excessive or imbalanced relative to the experience of other regions. Internal migration, which is not the main source of urban growth, does not account for urban poverty. Migration appears favorable on balance for sending and receiving areas, and population mobility benefits rural and urban households as many retain a foothold in both…

Urbanization and development in sub-Saharan Africa

Data from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report and the World Bank’s World Development Report are employed to test the hypothesis of a positive link between urbanization and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Level of urbanization is defined as the percentage of a country’s population in cities with at least 20,000 inhabitants. Development is operationalized in terms of the human development index (HDI). Results from correlation and t-test analyses confirm the hypothesized relationship. Thus, the study shows…

Understanding the emerging role of motorcycles in African cities: A political economy perspective

This paper attempts to evaluate the commercial motorcycle mode used in the three cities of Douala, Lagos, and Kampala, based on their political economy context in order to draw general conclusions of value throughout Africa and the rest of the developing world. The evaluation underscores the linkages between governance failure and weak sector performance and highlights the need to adapt policy instruments to local political and economic context. Central to discussion is the necessity to develop a participation framework driven by open communications…

An Assessment of the Impact of Bangalore Citizen Report Cards on the Performance of Public Agencies

The Bangalore Citizen Report Card (CRC), pioneered by the Public Affairs Centre (PAC), provides an assessment of the satisfaction levels of citizens with regard to public services in Bangalore and ranks public service agencies (dealing with water, power, municipal services, transport, housing, telephones, banks and hospitals) in terms of their service performance. This review provides an independent assessment of the contribution of the first two CRCs (1994 and 1999) based on interviews with a sample of agency heads, senior state officials, citizen action groups and the media in Bangalore.