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Presentation on theme: "REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FORTUNES AND THE GROWTH IN SLUMS IN DEVELOPING WORLD CITIES Ndi Humphrey Ngala, Ph.D. University of Yaounde I Cameroon."— Presentation transcript:


2 Presentation outline  Introduction and background  Development institutions in cameroon  Rural economic misfortunes  Exponential population growth  Causes and characteristics of slums in Africa and cameroon  Lessons learned and way forward  Conclusion

3 Introduction and background  The UN Habitat (2007) estimates that 72 percent of urban population of sub Saharan Africa lives in slums.  About 67% of Cameroon’s population lives therein.  Growth in slums attributable to rapid urbanization resulting from strong and persistent waves of rural- urban migration provoked by the failure of regional development policies.

4 Regional development model  In most of Africa, the centralised development model was exemplified by the national development Plans.  Proponents believed (belief) development will occur within the framework of four variables: X1 = Large Scale agricultural or industrialization Y1 = Employment Y2 = Incomes Y3 = Economic Development

5 Development agencies (1960s-1980s)  River basin oriented (usually multipurpose to promote agriculture, fishing, infrastructural development, education and rural development as the ultimate)  Regional orientation (Also multipurpose promoting agriculture, introducing agricultural innovations, setting up demonstration farms, developing infrastructure, ultimately leading to rural and regional development)

6 Examples of some agencies - Cameroon AuthorityObjectivestatus Upper Nun Valley Development Authority (UNVDA) River basin, rural development Under funded North West Development Authority (MIDENO) Rural and Regional dev Underfunded, essential activities South West Development Authority (SOWEDA) Rural and Regional dev Underfunded, essential activities Société de développement de Nkam (SODENKAM) River basin, Rural Development Defunct La Mission de développement d’Ombessa (MIDO) Rural developmentDefunct La Mission d’Intégré des Monts Mandara (MIDIMA) Rural developmentDefunct Wum Area Development Authority Rural developmentDefunct Les Zones d’Actions Prioritaires d’Intervention (ZAPI- Est) Rural developmentDefunct Société de développement de riziculture de Mbo Rural developmentDefunct Wheat Development Authority (SODEBLE) Rural developmentDefunct Food crops development Authority (MIDEVIV) Rural developmentDefunct

7 Rural economic down turn  Sustained fall in commodity prices (oil, cocoa and coffee)  Economic crisis, structural adjustment and the demise of most agencies  The demise of the National Produce Marketing Board in 1991 and the inability of its successor, the cocoa and coffee board to continue to guarantee minimum prices for cocoa and coffee led to an unprecedented plummet in the prices of these products.

8 Fig. 1: Trends in commodity prices over a 22 year period

9 Shocks  Closure of many state development agencies deals serious blow to the monetary economies of most rural areas.  From 1989/90, a total of about 24 000 workers were laid-off from parapublic enterprises in Cameroon, while those who retained their employment witnessed severe cuts in salaries to safe further jobs cuts (UNDP, 1993).  Rural poverty incidence rises

10  In 1992, cocoa and coffee farmers receive 50% below what they did 1971.  In real terms, GDP per capita fell from an average of 233 000F CFA in 1988/89, to 158 000F CFA in 1991.

11 Fig. 2: Average growth in GDP between 1977 and 2001.

12 Reactions in rural areas  Cocoa farmers were generally demoralized from further investments in cocoa farms leading to rampant abandonments of plantations;  In the coffee producing areas, some farmers switched to the growing of food crops harvested once or twice a year and which are relatively freer of international price fluctuations.  Yet for many farmers, these changes rendered the rural areas unattractive initiating a long and sustained wave of rural exodus that has continued till date.

13  Movement of rural poverty to the cities by poor rural- urban migrants who can neither rent nor construct decent housing in cities, alienating them from regular and legal housing;  In the absence of the enforcement of strict settlement rules, they perch in risky zones in cities, producing extensive slums and squatters which cannot withstand sudden catastrophic events linked to global warming.  They contribute significantly to increasing urban population through both net-migration and natural increase.

14 Rural economic shocks and exponential urban population growth  Sub-Saharan Africa has an urbanization rate of 5%, two times higher than that of Latin America and Asia, Cameroon records an equally high rate of about 3.6% (2010) down from 5.2% in 1990.  The greatest addition to the urban population of Cameroon occurred between 1987 and 1997 with 2.6 million, far above the 1.9 million between 1976 and 1987, and the 1.8 million between 1997 and 2005.

15  The 1987-1997: period of spiraling rural poverty in the country pushing people out to the towns in quest of new livelihoods off the farm.  That explains the exponential growth in urban population between 1987 and 1997

16 Fig. 3: Exponential urban growth in Cameroon

17  The exponential urbanisation rate constituted mainly by youths creates basis for natural growth of urban population.  For example, the natural growth rate of Yaounde was 4.0% in 2001, almost at par with net migration which stood somewhere between 3 and 4 %.

18 Impotence of urban planning agencies  Prior to the crisis period, several housing estates were built with the collaboration of the Urban and Rural Lands Development Authority known by its French acronym as MAETUR, and the Cameroon Real Estate Corporation (SIC).  As such planned and modern quarters were built in at Cite Verte (1977-1984); Biyem Assi (1981-1983); Mendong, (1983 – 1986); in Yaounde and Makepe and Bonamoussadi in Douala. Other towns that benefited from this scheme were Bertoua, Maroua, Ebolowa and Limbe.  These have remained the few planned spaces in these cities

19  Due to civil strife during the crises year further development of housing estates in the towns and cities, experienced a set-back.  In the absence of alternatives and to sooth city tensions, city government authorities adopted a passive regulatory attitude in urban housing resulting in the now entrenched laissez faire attitude in the sector.

20 Fig. 4: – Spatial growth of Yaounde since 1885. (Sources: Bopda, 2003: Spot satellite imagery 2000 and Landsat satellite imagery 1988, Tchindjang et al.)

21  From then, new quarters grew up spontaneously with:  no norms for hygiene and sanitation,  Basic facilities  waste disposal, and physical mobility respected. Most of the spatial growth of Yaounde recorded from 1992 as indicated in figure 4, fall within the category defined as slums.

22 Characteristics of slums in Africa and Cameroon  According to the UN Habitat (2010), 828 million or 33% of the urban population of developing countries lives in slums.  In sub Saharan Africa, the percentage rises up to 62.  Cameroon lies above this average with over 67% of slums dwellers.  In a study on Africa, Cameroon is categorised as a country with a high prevalence of slums (60-79%).  There are no hopes that the figure will fall soon because the country’s slums are growing at a rate of 5.5% per annum.

23  The few moves at eradicating slums have often met with dismal failure because the deep seated causes of slums have hardly been pinned down by the relevant actors and their actions (UN-Habitat, 2003).  Rural-urban migrants escaping rural poverty are responsible for the urbanisation of poverty.

24  The general conception that slums have emerged mainly out of the inability of urban municipal and government agencies to cope with unprecedented rates of rural exodus is misleading because this category of urban dwellers cannot even rent the decent housing provided by city councils and other housing agencies

25  As such, they take advantage of the inefficient, benign and passive government policies to occupy protected lands, risk zones and even undeveloped state land.  With the urbanisation of poverty, the links between poverty and fertility become even more evident with much of urban growth accounted for today by natural population growth.

26  Slums may also be explained from the perspective of governance in which they portray institutional failures in housing policy; housing finance; public utilities, local governance and secure tenure (Arimah, ).  Cameroon, for instance, has an elaborate institutional framework for urban development which has made things even worse because there is little or no coordination amongst the principal actors  This results in rampant conflicts of competences.

27  In Cameroon for example, over 80% of urban land transactions are informal and illegal. Very few land parcels are registered limiting the possibilities of the development of formal housing backed by building permits. As such, it is difficult to enforce building norms.  In 2001, over 62% of town dwellers owned their own houses. Such houses are devoid of essential facilities like water and electricity and because they are built in unplanned and inaccessible areas, and the waste generated on a daily basis cannot be evacuated.

28  According to the Cameroon Household Survey (ECAM II), 2001, 86.2% of the urban population of the country, has access to potable water, though it falls to 71.5 in the unplanned quarters. This percentage is seemingly high because it includes water fetched from public pumps, or bought from neighbours.  In the city of Yaounde, there are only about 26% of households connected to the official water supply network.  Over 15% of urban households do not have access to improved toilets. These are found dominantly in the unplanned neighbourhoods of the main cities.  - About 12% of urban households do not have access to electricity. In fact, most of the electrical connections in the slums are illegal because they are either the result of informal subcontracts or illegal and dangerous connections to the grid.


30 Lessons  African cities models are different from those of Europe and North America

31 Urban system effects of GEC  African cities stand to suffer more than any other continent from anticipated sea level rises because of poverty and weak resiliency to disasters.  Storm surges and floods affect more slum dwellers than people in planned quarters where rainwater drains are an integral part of housing development. Flood episodes are less felt here.  On the contrary, in case of drought, resulting in water scarcity and increase pricing, the urban poor suffer most.  They are not left out of the burden of water related disease like cholera and malaria.  Because of the overcrowding at slums, the diffusion of infectious disease can become unprecedented in African cities.

32 Way forward  Local as well as central governments, solidarity neighbourhood initiatives have a significant role to play in building the resilience of urban populations to the undersirable effects of global environmental changes.  The simplification of the processes for securing land registration will enhance security of tenure improving the credit worthiness of the low income earners.  In Cameroon, less than 15% of the urban land owners have such certificates, and in the absence of avenues for credits that can improve the socio-economic status of slum dwellers, their living conditions will remain precarious for a long time and they will suffer disproportionately from sudden climatic events.

33  The decentralization of public resource administration which is in progress in many African countries albeit very slowly will improve city governance by substantially augmenting their financial capacities.  In addition, responses to global environmental change (GEC) events will be faster than when such have to be initiated from an awkward, corrupt and inefficient central government. For this to work, local governments must build their technical and administrative capacities. On the other hand, decentralization will also improve rural infrastructure, boast its economy, reduce poverty and out-migration, lessening stress on the major cities.



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