Promoting Good Urban Governance and Planning in Africa: Implications for the NEPAD Agenda
Geoffrey Nwaka (Abia State University)
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
Poverty and rapid urbanization are two of the greatest challenges facing Africa today, and cities provide an appropriate platform for advancing the NEPAD mandate to alleviate poverty, promote good governance, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. The paper discusses how cities and urban slums have developed in Africa over the last 50 years, the extent to which government policies have helped or constrained the poor, and the appropriate strategies to protect urban livelihood for the poor, and also ensure a healthy and socially acceptable environment. It then examines the NEPAD Cities Programme, which seeks to develop African cities as engines of economic growth, and nodes of regional integration. It argues that in spite of continuing misgivings, NEPAD provides a potentially useful framework for dialogue between African leaders and the external collaborating partners. The NEPAD peer review mechanism (APRM) can effectively guide member countries in the reciprocal evaluation meant to help them to fulfill the commitment to peace and good governance, and to learn from each other best practices in various areas of governance, planning, informal sector management, and so on. Partnership is central to the APRM idea: partnership between African governments and their people; partnership between and among African governments themselves; and partnership between African governments and the foreign development partners. To realize its full potential NEPAD needs to draw insights from several recent global initiatives, including the Habitat Agenda, ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, UN-Habitat’s twin Campaigns for Good Urban Governance and Secure Tenure, etc - which suggest how state and local authorities, the private sector and civil society organizations, the international development community and the urban poor themselves should collaborate to promote the growth of safe, productive, inclusive and socially equitable cities.
The Africa Union and NEPAD