African cities can raise more money – Lessons from SA and Kenya


African cities will gain a billion new residents by 2050. But local authorities across the continent don’t have the resources, powers or skills set to meet the growing demand for housing and services.

Africa’s rapid urbanisation is a huge opportunity for national governments.

It’s cheaper to provide all kinds of services to people living in urban areas, from paved roads to health care. Urban growth can turbocharge economic development, since people working in industry and services tend to be more economically productive than those working in agriculture. And urban Africans typically live longer and have higher incomes than their counterparts in the countryside.

Yet across the continent, municipal authorities are often weak and their ability to raise taxes are…

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