Traffic in Lusaka

A new World Bank report has charged that majority of African cities are hampering development because they are they are crowded, disconnected and costly.

The report says urbanisation is a source of dynamism that can enhance productivity and increase economic integration.

It says if well managed, cities can help countries accelerate growth and “open the doors” to global markets by creating productive environments that attract international investment and increase economic efficiency and by creating livable environments that prevent urban costs from rising excessively with increased densification.

It says by generating agglomeration economies, cities can enhance productivity and spur innovation and national economic diversification.

The report however says that in Africa, concentration of people in cities has not been accompanied by economic density.

It points out that typical African cities share three features that constrain urban development and create daily challenges for businesses and residents such crowding.

The report says to support the development of cities that work, cities that are livable, connected, and affordable, and therefore economically dense, it calls for policy makers to direct attention toward the deeper structural and institutional problems that misallocate land, fragment development, and limit productivity.

The report says Africa’s cities are quickly gaining in population adding that urban areas contain 472 million people.

It forecasts that the number will double over the next 25 years and that the largest cities will grow as fast as 4 percent annually.

“Productive jobs, affordable housing, and efficient infrastructure will be urgently needed for residents and newcomers. The growth of cities will be central to development in Africa as well as elsewhere. But for urbanization to bring the benefits that it should, cities will need to offer incentives to investors through agglomeration and higher productivity,” it argues.

It says cities also must become more livable to their residents by offering services, amenities, and housing for the poor and the middle class and that Mayors and ministries will need to resolve structural problems and improve conditions for both people and businesses.

“Starting with reforms to land markets and regulations, while increasing and coordinating early infrastructure investments, African governments can build cities that work. Successful urbanization will also support Africa’s agricultural and rural transformation by effectively absorbing the labour being released by these sectors; by providing a market for agricultural produce; and by financing further transformation and commercialization.”

It says over the next 20 years, growth in Africa’s urban populations will increase new demand for infrastructure, for housing and other physical structures, and for amenities and to meet this new demand, city leaders and planners must use adaptable strategies.

“Plans and regulations should allow the best use of land but they should also permit uses, and users, to change over time, as demand evolves further. Three key considerations will be how to handle land and property rights; how to value land and manage land prices; and land use and urban planning.”

It also says that cities must improve the institutional and the physical and infrastructural structures, making them more livable and affordable for people and more attractive to business.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. This is why I keep suggesting that Lusaka town as a city must be abandoned. WE should build a NEW city elsewhere with proper drainage, proper town and county planning with good road/rail/tram networks etc. Indeed and as it is, how can you get to the Airport for instance in such Traffic? We should SPREAD out mwebantu please

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    • We did not even need to hear or read the WB report to feel what it is like to live in Lusaka for instance! From Lumumba road to Cairo road and others in between (Freedom, Chachacha, Katunjila, Katondo, Nkwazi etc.), traders and dealers of all hues have taken or are taking over. There is no longer any season that offers a comfortable environment in the city anymore, come rain or shine. The mess is replicated in residences and townships where everybody must build their own house, sewers and get a source of water …

      The Independence and Church roads flyovers have also seen encroachment. The road traffic agency RTSA adds up to a thousand mostly used vehicles a day to the country’s roads …

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  2. These people hate Africans and the economic boom that is going on in cities. They wish we all lived in villages and die poor. They have done everything to reduce our population, created AIDS, control our fiscal and monetary policy, steal our natural resources, told stupid Zambians to circumcise themselves so they can sexually insensitive thereby reducing population, etc. That is why I like people like Mugabe. He don’t care about these people.

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    • And maleria and hunger bla bla bla….yah yah .grow up. You have been independent for 50 years and yet you still beg the west for handouts and blame them for everything else….pathetic bottom feeders.

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    • You were speaking sense until “told stupid Zambians to circumcise themselves so they can sexually insensitive thereby reducing population, etc.” kikikikiki

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  3. Our towns were designed to accommodate a small white population not mass producing Africans. Even the houses in mine townships were meant for bachelors not child production machines.

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  4. Let AU declare this as a disaster needing emergency attention. Drive into these compounds you will be met with millions of beings on roads just roaming about, talk of Soweto market. Mwebo katubwelele ku mishi twanako kukwikala nge nama sha mpanga.

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  5. Just look above , is it a coincidence that the PF kaponya supporters seem to be the ones blaming the west for their laziness and corruption ? Or could it be a fact that these people don’t take any responsibility and expect hand out from the west while looting the country and expect things to run smoothly? One wanders.

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  6. …I don’t seem to get it when the author talks about ‘African cities are over crowded’…then what would be said about London, Beijing, Moscow, Tokyo to mention but a few…if they talk of the population boom not moving at the same pace with economic production activities yes I would agree..not over crowded..noooooo

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    • If there is over crowding but there is order and things are organised and work, over crowding can be tolerated.

      Not like us , over crowded with street vendor’s, load shedding, no water for days disjointed transportation……

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    • .my friend Spaka….the key word is ‘over crowding’..just too many people occupying a specific limited area/space…whether orderly or not….
      …vendors, load shedding is a topic for another day……

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  7. Simple solution – One or Two child policy! Let it be enforced to the letter! China grew from a country barely of mention twenty years ago to the second largest economy in the world today largely in part due to their strict population policy- One Child policy!
    That’s the only solution! People shouldn’t be having kids just because mwalitemwa uku tomba fye ba fikezi! Use family planning ba swine imwe!

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  8. World bank also like stating things people have known for generations. kikikikikikiki gossiping all the time.

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  9. THIS IS DUE TO POOR OR SIMPLY NONE-PLANNING OF CITIES. APART FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND BOTSWANA (ESPECIALLY BOTSWANA) MOST AFRICAN CITIES (ZAMBIA BEING ONE OF THE MAIN CULPRIT) DON’T GROW OUT OF PLAN. EVEN IF ORIGINALLY THEY WERE PLANNED IT DOESN’T TAKE LONG BEFORE SUCH PLANS ARE THROWN OUT OF THE WINDOW MAINLY DUE TO CORRUPT CITY FATHERS, CIVIL SERVANTS AND POLITICIANS. AS SUCH AFRICAN CITIES QUICKLY GROW INTO GHETTOS WITH CHARACTERISTICS OF STREET VENDING, PILED UP RUBBISH ALONG ANY AND ALL STREETS, HOUSEHOLD SURROUNDINGS AND FACTORY PREMISES. THAT IS AFTER ALL MANUCIPALITY AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FUNDS HAVE BEEN STOLEN BY PEOPLE IN DECISION-MAKING POSITIONS AND EMULATED BY OTHER CLERICAL STAFF.

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    • But iwe Chi Colour why do you always write in Capital Letters? Fuseki kolwe dont you know that no one reads what you post

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    • @11.1 Popolyongo I WRITE IN CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE THEY ARE THERE. AND I KNOW PEOPLE DON’T READ MY CONTRIBUTIONS INCLUDING YOURSELF. THAT’S I WRITE AND IN CAPITAL LETTERS. AND THANKS FOR YOUR NAME-CALLING.

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  10. Lusaka is not really a city ,its just a huge dirty disorganized village .And MCS added to the mess by allowing dirty salaula hawkers all over just for votes.

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  11. they’re not only crowded, disconnected, and costly but are dirty too. and the useless PF ministers think it is ok to legalise street vending will bring real development. no ways

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