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Paul Collier & Anthony J. Venables

In: The SAGE Handbook of New Urban Studies

Chapter 24: Urbanization and Housing in Africa

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Urbanization and Housing in Africa
Urbanization and Housing in Africa
Paul CollierAnthony J. Venables
INTRODUCTION

Prior to Independence, Africa was an overwhelmingly rural society. Over the past half-century, it has been the most rapidly urbanizing region. This urbanization has been seriously dysfunctional. A good city provides people with both a better venue for productive employment and a better quality of life than can be achieved in rural areas. African cities have achieved neither of these characteristics. They are not locations for productive employment because they lack the density of settlement and its supporting infrastructure that large firms need in order to produce at scale for global markets. They do not offer a better quality of life because much housing is squalid and lacks the basic public services ...

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