Podcast: Sustainable funding for Africa’s cities

Governments are being overwhelmed by the rapid growth of Africa’s cities. Strategic planning has been insufficient and the provision of basic services is worsening. Since the 1990s, widespread devolution has substantially shifted responsibility for coping with urbanisation to local authorities, yet municipal governments across Africa receive a paltry share of national income with which to discharge their responsibilities.

Responsible city authorities are examining how to improve revenue generation and diversify their sources of finance. Following the creation of a sustainable development goal for cities (SDG 11), and ahead of the Habitat III summit in October 2016, this Africa Research Institute event, held June 15, examines some of the financing options and the urgent need for a proactive approach on the part of national and municipal governments. It coincided with the publication of ARI’s briefing note Dakar’s municipal bond issue: A tale of two cities.


Professor Susan Parnell
Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences,
University of Cape Town, and the African Centre for Cities

Jeremy Gorelick
Lead technical adviser, Dakar Municipal Finance Program
Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University

Dr Beacon Mbiba
Senior Lecturer, Urban Policy and International Development
Program Leader, Planning in Developing and Transitional Regions at  Oxford Brookes University


The Africa Research Institute encourages debate, questions orthodoxy and challenges “received wisdom” in and about Africa. It seeks to promote an informed, nuanced and representative understanding of the continent. www.africaresearchinstitute.org

Photo: Rooftops in Dakar via Flickr user Jeff Attaway.

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