Urbanization for Africa's structural transformation
Date and Start Time 29 June, 2017 at 09:00
The panel shares foci on how to unleash the productive potential of urbanization for Africa' structural transformation, including through strengthening rural-urban linkages.
African is urbanizing fast. Africa's experience of urbanization has however followed a path delinked from development whether in terms of a green revolution or an industrial revolution, resulting in lost opportunities for enhanced growth and productivity and posing specific challenges for sustainable transformation. Urbanization in Africa has largely been triggered by the development of natural resources exports rather than by improvements in agriculture and manufacturing productivity. Africa's urbanization has thus been characterized as "urbanization without development".
To accelerate structural transformation in Africa, a clear grasp of the role urbanization could play is needed. Decisions made today in response to rapidly evolving urban realities and trends, and about where and how to invest in urban areas will fundamentally shape the future economic geography of Africa. Urbanization can be a positive force of transformation only when it is planned and managed adequately to optimize its productive potential and ensure its sustainability.
Importantly, harnessing urbanization for Africa's industrialization calls for the strengthening of rural-urban linkages. Given the dominance of agriculture in African economies, the potential of an agricultural-led industrialization through value addition is considerable. Deliberate policies are needed to raise agricultural productivity and connect villages to input and output markets in urban areas. It is thus critical to explore the role of urbanization in Africa's industrialization and agricultural modernization both of which are key pillars of structural transformation. The panel will focus on these issues with a view to sharing experiences and identifying entry points to unleash the transformative potential of urbanization.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Affordable Housing: Practices and Prospects of House Supply in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This paper analyses the practices and prospects of affordable housing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The city of Addis Ababa is burdened with both political and socio-economic activities of the country. People are flooding from all over the nation for employment, education, business and other reasons. Providing affordable houses for the rapidly increasing demand has become a challenge. It is demanding a solution more than building houses in the city. Even building houses by itself has its own bottlenecks such as gaps in project management and financial access. The integrated housing development program has brought some important insights. It was successful to some extent of its objectives. However, it lags far behind from the soaring demand of Addis Ababa residents for affordable housing. If continues in the same way or worse, the program won't be relevant anymore to benefit the poor and even the middle-income community members.
The heavy burden of affordable housing provision can never be alleviated by whatever good done in the city. In contrary, the investment in the city is attracting more people and hence more demand, for the vicious circle to continue. Thus, all stakeholders need to assume their responsibility for robust, integrated and nationwide effort, so as to guide urbanization for its optimal benefit. This paper analyzes the practices and prospects of affordable housing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the end, it proposed recommendations that are drawn from the research findings.
Fertility transition in Maputo: a socio-spatial analysis
This work investigates the association between urban socio-spatial differentiation and fertility disparities in Maputo (Mozambique) and discusses the empirical and theoretical implications of analysing intra-urban fertility dynamics in Africa.
In sub-Sahara Africa, the distinction between the dynamics of fertility rates in urban areas and fertility rates in rural areas have been the focus of the overwhelming majority of comparative studies about regional differences in fertility rates (see Shapiro & Tambashe, 1999; Shapiro & Gebreselassie, 2008; Lesthaeghe, 2014 ). However, the fertility rates within urban areas are not necessarily uniform (Weeks, Getis, Hill, Gadalla, & Rashed, 2004). According to Garenne & Joseph (2002) and Lesthaeghe (2014), African urban areas have lower fertility rates than rural areas and in urban areas, fertility rates have been declining much faster than those in rural areas. Although, the demographic data about intra-urban fertility rates in Africa appears to be scarce, through DHS (Demographic and Health Survey) data (1997, 2003 and 2011) and censuses (1997 and 2007) coupled with a literature review, this work attempts to a) investigate the association between socio-spatial differentiation and fertility disparities in Maputo city (Mozambique's capital city) and b) critically discuss the empirical and theoretical implications of engaging in an intra-urban analysis of fertility transition. The results suggest that Maputo´s spatial pattern of fertility is closely associated with socio-spatial variability of socio economic characteristics in the city. As expected, low levels of fertility rates are to be found in the most developed and urbanized district, whereas throughout the less developed districts, fertility is relatively high. This seems to be consistent with similar conclusions about fertility transition hypothesis elsewhere in Africa (see J. R. Weeks, Getis, Hill, Gadalla, & Rashed, 2004).
Integrating structural and spatial transformation - Rethinking African urbanization and economic development through the agency of spatial formation
This paper will address two aspects that are often neglected, but crucial when discussing how to sustainably harness urbanization for economic development and structural transformation in Africa: the importance of contextual differences, and the impact of spatial formation.
The proposed paper draws from the author's research on recent urbanization processes in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa and its hinterland. It will address two aspects that are often neglected, but crucial when discussing how to sustainably harness urbanization for economic development and structural transformation: the importance of contextual differences, and the impact of spatial formation. Along these lines, two proposals will be put forward. First, it will be argued that there is an obvious need for new concepts of urbanization that are driven by, and adequate for African contexts. From this perspective, 'urbanization without development' could be seen as an explanation based on concepts from established industrialized countries, rather than trying to understand patterns of urbanization through particular local African settings. Second, it is fundamental to reconsider the role of space for structural change - from a 1-to-1 scale of every-day living environments to a regional scale of rural-urban linkages. Embracing the built environment as productive and inclusive agent, rather than a mere necessity for - or result of - structural transformation, could lead towards more comprehensive and sustainable approaches of economic development. Thus, following the panel's statement that "urbanization can be a positive force of transformation only when it is planned and managed adequately to optimize its productive potential and ensure its sustainability," this paper will firstly - along selected cases from Addis Ababa - highlight the importance and potential of addressing spatial transformation as an integral part of sustainable structural change, and will, secondly, show potential alternative approaches to the stated and identified challenges.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.