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Draft final report of the workshop on urbanization in Africa (continuation - d)


Academic year: 2022

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SJij~/TIRB/AF/30/Rev.1 (d)








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(e):..Communi ty' development and organization·

Community development

S~1/URB/AF/30/Rev.l page 61 a

169. a The short definition of " community development'.' adopted by~he

United Naticnsand th!"specializedagencies is well-known in Africa and else'There, quotied as .i 10 is in many z-epor-tis ,

169.b "Community development" ist not a philosophy nor a rigid doctrine, but a new appr-oach to problems. It is a pragmatic and flexible method adapted to situations that vary from country to country, based oncertaiu.

principles derived from the lesscns of exper-l.ence ,

169 •. c'.l'he first of these principles is that men will not put forth their personal.effort unl.ess they feel that what they ar.e doing will satisfy a human need and the real needs defined by.theplanner.

169. d The Administration and the· people often do not see eye to eye on the latter's needs•.There are t.wo possibili.ties:

(i) Either the: people feel no need, bscauae they are too backward.

In this .case the need must be inculcated in them.

(ii) Or else the needs felt by the pecple do not coincide with objective real needs,inwhich case the people must be induced to modify their idea".

But in ei ther· ~ase nothing should be undertaken until :the inhabi tants feol a need that iotheir eyes justifies the effort asked of them.

169.e The change of attitude in individuals is of cardinal importance.

ThepsyoholoZi cal aspects are or techni cal ,thtiugh there is of men tali ties.

basic, often as important as

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often a lag petween progress

the rna teria.l and the changf.ng

169.£ Technical progress speeds up, subject only to the i~troductionof e'J,uipment and funds. The face of a country, and particularly of its. towns (ports, rcads, factories, houses) ca~ be rapidly changed by installlllg more and. more powerful·tedhnicalfaoili ties.


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l69.g Psychological changes, even assuming they are affected by techni~al

progress, cannot proceed at the same r ate, They are slow and geared to the gap between the generations. They are also superficial, though they may give the appearance of progress. This i s the case in the cities, .where most of the immigrant masses nevertheless continue to live in just about the same way as decades ago. Hence the gulr'bet"een technical progress and' moral Changes.

l69.h The position is serious; for there -"ill'be no real progress ilrltil the peop'l e change their standards of living and production and adapt

themselves to new coneepts. But the Dew attitud0s and mentalityrequir~d,' ,'Thi ch are the cardinal. aim of communi ty dcvel opnen t, not only come 'slcwly but are complex and Cifficul t, as they dep'Jnd onvhuman nature itself and the persistence of habits and traditions.



Se.we. arrive at a. cono eptd on of eommunity development which may be definod as follows' "the conbi.nuta on of conscious and voluntary effort by the people, H possibLe spon tanscus'Ly made within their own community, ant effort by the Govornment to. achieve improved.Btandards of living and economic and social progressll

169.j It should be stressed that, .. despite the attention given to commumty development no"adays, the data that can be collected to illustrate the applioation of community develepment methods. and teohniques .in urban areas are still very fragmentary and superficial and provide no basis for conclusions on certain poi~ts.

l69.k That is the reason why the Economic Commissien for Afrioa has Lnc'Lud.ed pilot studies in African towns in its work programme for 1962-63~ The expansion of such researoh will tl~ow a new light on problems and will bring out commen denominaters ior community d~velopmcnt methods and techniques adnpted to Afr-ica ' s ur o.,n centres.

169.1 It will thereafter remain to t~ain

develop: .mt leaders for the special field

social workers and community created by urbanization •. . ,", _ , , ' _ . I .


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170. The panel members were agreed that community development is a prooess by which the efforts of the people themselves are united with those of governmental authorities to improve the economic, social and cultural conditicns of communities to integrate these communities into the life of the nation and to enable them to ccntribute fully to national progress.


171. Although it was agreed that the achievement of these objectives is dependent on an effective administrative set-up, few members produced definite proposals for this; moreover, differences of opinion arcse as to the location of the administraticn in government. In some countries, it is the Ministry of Social Welfare, and in others with Planning, where effective cc-ordination takes place. In one country, co-ordination is achieved by establishing a ministerial board within the Ministry of National Community Development charged with the task of co-ordinating regional development plans.

172. LOn the Question of oo-ordination, which was considered to be important in view of the vast field of activity oovered by community development - health, agriculture, education, housing etc. - the example of India was cited. In that country, technical personnel are selected for work, having previously been sohooled in the philosophy and techniQues of community development; although under the teohnical supervision of their respective ministries, these men come administratively under the Ministry of Community Development~


173. One delegate raised the Question as to whether community development should be aimed at satisfying people's felt needs, or directed towards objectives laid down by Government. He pointed out that both

approaches were evident in the experiences quoted from Africa. It was clear, however, that these different aims might not always be in harmony.

Since it was important to secure the active participation of people in

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SEM/URB/AF/30/Rev.l Eage\ q9, " . "

project,s, many:del!3gates maintained that the former approach was

ne ce suar-y., i.e. the riesds felt by people should ccsie first. 140reover, i t is not merely tne project itself that is important, but the

participation of people in the satisfaction of their needs, and in the determination of priorities for work. Howeyer, since it is somEltimes difficult for people to formulate their needs in a satisfactory way or

to articulate them effectively, it falls upon the community organizer or·

the sooa.al, research worker to discover or to assess these needs.

The range of community development programmes


It was olear from the vast range of activities quoted, that

community development could mean very many different things. Since it is primarily concerned with attitudes and less with organization however, it was obvious that it could take different expressions in practice. Thus Madagascar mentioned basic education including library services, civic improvement and health instruction. The Congo (Leopoldville) explained its use of' consumer co-operatives under this heading and Mali referred to its youth brigades. Other examples of community development were the self-help housing in Ghana, Senegal' and elsewhere and a variety of health activities and women's welfare schemes.


Ghana made the point, however, which seemed generally true that there has still been less than adequate application of community development methods to urban areas. In urban areas it is probable that a different quality of worker will be required and the overlap with social group work would have to be carefully considered.

Community development and urban planning


It was agreed that the construction of urban community centres should take place as a physical expression of the needs of a community, rather than as a gift from a government or private benefaotor.



It was agreed that the success of a programme Ultimately depends on the quality of personnel selected as community organizers and the



SEM/URB/AF/30/ Rev• l page 70

importanco of provicling c.fi'ocrtivo trai..'ling fox them w>.s also stressed.

However; the confidence of the pecple may also only be obtained by introQucing their local leaders to the phi:Losophy of community

development; thus training programmes should also be initiated with this objective in view.


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(e) Low-eest Heusing

Lmi-co,st housing can be defined as ,


First " the cost of eonstruction per sq. ft. or sq. m, per sq. 'ft. ' or 3,000 CFA per sq. m, are Lotr cost.

Second, the cost (without subsidy) to tho family in renting a unit brthe cost of repaying a loan plus maintenance costs per year; if


or less ef,afamily'sannual income is usod for these purposos, it is low-cost.


Reductien of Government expenses in social wolfare as a result Of


is another measurement ef low-cost heusing but is determined with great difficulty and therefore is net generally used.

180. The United Nat~ons JCA is new carrying out a long-r~nge p~ogrammo of activi ties in ·tho field of housing, as a re.sul t of preposals frem a number of ethor oonferences. These activities include.the erganizatien of , regional and national research and training centors, technical assistance services, experimental urban prejects (such as one in Somalia), statistical and socio- economic rosearch services, surveys .and ovaluations of existing. projects (a self-help heusing survey will be completed in Septomber


Workshops (ene on lew-cest housing was held in Tunis, October


manuals and publications,exhibitions and group fellowships.

181. Uhilo these activities are ~ssential,wesuggest that until parsons of national birth are .involved in all tho phasQs of planning, of carrying out

th.; details of a housingpro::;ramr,,,, and of creating a building industry, no

amount~of foreign or intornational aid will really solve the low-cost housing problem.


There are too few persons of national birth in Africa who are involved technically, intellectually and emotionall~in their own pooplos' housing problems. Tee few archit;Jcts, engineers, economists, or sociolOGists arc actively dosigning programmes in torms o~ local culture or even local change.

Too fow local construction firms exist ~e organize, supervise and carry out largo-scale building pregramQ;JS, and f~wer build efficiently and eoonOmioally.

TOo few inci~striesthat pr-oduce bricks, blocks, lumber, aluminum, stool,

nails, prefabricated p~rts or even so~l-oementblonksarc managed and operated by local persons. Needless to say, thero are too fow local bankers.



SEM/URB/AF/30/Rev.l pago


183. Even if extensive organiz::ction of oxisting resources and :Lntensivo training wore initiated in 1962, most African countrios would not bo ina position ,for an all-out attack on housing withi~ 10 yoars, A few aro moving in tho right dir0ction. Of the 11 cquntrios roccntly survoyod, Tunisia and Ghana ospecially call fer mention. Also Soncgal, Uganda and Kenya have enough experioncoon "hich to star't effective programmes,

184. But lew-income families arid conscientious officials cannot "ai t :10 yoa2'~.

One selution to overcomo this lag in housing devolopment is to employ aided self-help and co:':operativometheds of'house":building in cortain urban areas.

Succossful African oxamplGs can be found in Sonogal's 420-unit projoct and in tho Contral African Ropublic. Also, tho'group roof-loan ::orojects in Ghana and a current solf-help project in Tanganyika are "orth"hile. The main advantage of those proj::Jcts,are' that through provon community dovolopmont tochniques and modern construction mothods, costs aroroducod 20-50%,' and thoroforo moro families can bo heusod with the availablofunds.

11:J5. Obsor-vatd on of some' offective/community development pregrammos ovor a period of yoars has lod to tho boliof that it is really tho samo thing as

comprohensivQ planning on tho local, community and'regional levels, that also

involvos pooplo in tho planning'process;

186. Eod0-rn s o L f ' e - h oLp may n o t be tho c o m pl o tc hOllSil1Z:;' solution

b u t f 0 "',large number-s of familios, for many years to como, i tlljay bo the only "ay f,or ther.! to obtain an cxcol Lont houso during their lifetimo.

Also solf-:holp has capital producing pouer that londs itsolf ospocially woll to rovolvinci funds. lihon it is oombinod with th0 devolopment of a buildin~

industry, a balanced programmo of housing for all incomo groups bocomos possible.

187. Ono aspoct of housing often over-Looked is th",t whilo it is of ton censidorod as a so-callod "secial ovorhoad" - as aro oducation and hoalth that is, 'oconomically low yield and high cest, it also croatos a noed for local building materials, and for local industries to produce them., Furthor- mcro, those industries lend'thomselvos to docontralizationsinco


can bo made from'sand, coral, gypsum rock, wood and earths of many ,kinds.



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188. Some housing goals expressed in many.circles, are that up to 3% of the Gross National Product should be contributed bY,house-building. Also, as much as 25


of the total construction cxpond.i,tures should be for housing. ,Iere African. countries to reach this goal, they could then consider slum clearance and urban renewal.

189. Some important policy questions for most African countrios that a~fect

planning and adminis~rativedecisions for urb~nizing communities are;

1. She~ld single-family or multi-unit housing be built ih urban areas?

2. Should temporary and semi-permanent matorials be p:>rmittod ? 3, Row should aroas of·tomporary-built houses be servioed ?

4. Row should migrant, perhaps temporarily-urban families beheused ? 190. The work of the Unitod Nations in the housinG field was reviewod by tho Officer-in-Charge, Housing Building and Planning. Thore were four main fields of activity :

(a) The undertaking of studies on special aspects of housing;

(b) The organization of seminars, workshups etc. on various subjocts on a regional and.,intor....rogional basi,S;

(c) The provision of technical assistance experts and fellowships, this being an expanding fiold of activity;

(d) The preparation ef plans for 10nG~torm actien (1962-1964) on tho subjoctof which a spacial export group was convened in 1962.

191~The·Officer-in-Charge stressed that in spite ef all eflorts, housing conditions in most countrios has deterioratod cue·t6 the JP,ct that pepulation growth has eutstripped·economic dovoldpment. ,Amongst the recommendations of the special group, the need was strossod to· sot up housing targets, ahd for United Nations to estublish a pool of equipment to be placed at the disposal of countries who request assistance.

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Disoussion on Low-oost Housing

192.,T!lo Panol agroo;d j;!lat ,tho,problom of low-:-cost housing, capccLa.l.Ly for ,!,igr~ntpopulationsont.or-i.ng .tho c~tios fro)ll rur-a.L aroas, was, a dominant f<l.otor in thJ oconomfo dovelopmentof Afrioan countz-Lcs , Howevor, the

discussion rovoalod differencos of 'Pinion as to tho proportion of national budgot whioh should be givon ovor to this purposo. Ono view was that no funds

shouLd bo


but that tho govcr-nncnts should conccn t.rat o on industrial

. ' " ,

dovolopment. Others folt that to ignoro tho noed for low~cost housos would bodisastrous in tho long~rango viow ' but. that, only oconomic hal -subsidizod projocts, should bo dovolopod using up to ,25


of tho, annual budgct , Anothor group folt that for tho majority of tho population it would only bo possiblo to provido sorviood. layouts whoro tho family oould huild its own vorylow-cost houso of traditional or improved traditional typos.

193. From thoexchango of viow on tho approach to this problomadoptod in tho differont countrios r.opr'Jsontod in tho V!orkshop, it appoarod :thatno OnO solution was univorsally applicablo. Whilst in somo countrios multi-stor,ey , housinz had boon built sometimos on the bams of 60 yoar loans, in othors this was found to bo too oxponsivo or not yot accCiptablo to nowly urbanizod familios. lIany oxamplos woro brought 'out in' which building plots had boon

~oasod to pooplo on whioh thoy oould construot thoir own housos. Basic servicos suoh as wator cind roads "eronorrnallyprovidod, and in onc.caso, onoourugomorrt to build in pormancn t tma'tcz-i.a.Ls "'as Given by; oxtonding tho Loa so from 20 yoars duro, tion (tomporary)to 60 years ,,(pormanont).

194. Although tho mothods of construction variCid greatly, 'gohoral intorost was shown in tho succcaefu'l cxpor-Lmont ,in one oountryin 1~hioh' small scaf.o builders had beon'omployod on 'a contraotbasis te buildpormanQnt housing undor gcvornncnt suporvi.so.on, In cortaincountries,,,,,local matorials had beon suocessfully appliod 'to low-cost housing, and further dovelop~ent"as possible in this matter. However, tho nood,to previde technical assistanco for small soalo and jobbing buildors was stro~sod aS,a mothod by which struoturos could, be improvod.

195. Solf-holp ~ochni~uos had beon omployod in somo torritorios succossfully.

Senegal has a 420 unit "oastor" project, in whioh groups built high standard housos. Uganda has usod tho system in land and- sorvico aroas "horo traditional matorials woro allowed.


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196. llany dologclt~s oxpr)l;!!3od the necess;i.ty to locate housing ar-eas in rolation to a properly drafted dovelopment plan for tho to,Dl and also detailod community plans ;There permanent houses 1iOre to bo bui.Lt. The

oxistonco of such a plan would ensure tho a'l Looa.tdon of land Ln suf tablo

loc~t;i.ons for all tYP~8 of hous;i.ng, and that th~ full rango of sorvicos - not only wat~r and roads, but 'schools and the community buildings -!;ore provided in ~hvir proper Place. rtoreover, th~ difficulties m~ntiened by

some d9legates of housing being locat~d tcofar from places of work would bo avoided. Such a plan should also onvisage a progressivo programme ef.slum and shanty-tow·nrehabili tation•.

197. As regards housing management, the need for education in urban lifo was noted -particuJ.nr:q in the oon toxt of health,education and home economics.

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(a) Administrative Aspects Introduction

198. Administrative aspects of urbanization inev.itably af'f ect and are af'f'e cted.cby administrative policies and programmes in rl;i,ral areas. and by the general system.:of public administration in a country. Plans for improving the administration of services in rural aneas should be

d~veloped sim~lta~eoM~ly.with.those for urban areas. Moreover"pro- vision ",l;\,ouldlle made for changes in the form of local government and

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administration for villages and market towns whose population rapidly increasF3s. However, the generalizations which follow are confined to administrative problem", of exi",ting centre", of rapid urban growth.

199. These problems and the measures for dealing with them differ

between countries due to differences in political systems, relationships between central government and looal authorities, administrative

traditions~ availability of technioal and administrative personne19 size of oountry and other difference",. Problems that are the root cau",e of many administrative difficulties in ",ome countries are absent in others.

Measure", that are suitable for dealing with a problem in one country are impracticable or unacoeptable in others.

200. Nevertheless, the Workshop has afforded a useful opportunity for understanding the causes of administrative problems of urbanization and of gaining insight into different ways of dealing with those that are common to many countries.

201. Newly independent countries have a unique opportunity of

restructuring their governmental organization to meet current needs and the weaknesses in their existing structure before

values. They should be mindful, however, of the strengths as well as changing them.

Therefore, care must be taken in applying the generalizations below.

202. The main aruninistrative problems associated with urbanization are as follows:


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(a) the lack of co-orclination of the activities of central government agencies, multi-purpose local authorities and special purpose bodies in urban areas,

(b) the rigidity of municipal boundaries which hanclicaps and increases the complexity of local administration as population overflows these boundaries,

(c) the administrative weakness of local authorities due primarily to inad8~uacies in organization, staffing and financial resources (to be dealt with separately), which prevents them from expanding services as rapidly as

re~uired and adapting them to the special needs of migrants from rural areas, and

(d) the distinctive administrative problems of capital cities due mainly to the' special national interests and unusually rapid growth of population there.

Each of these problems is treated s8parately in the ssctions which follow..;


203. Co-ordination has been defined as "the ord~rly arrangement of group effort to provide unity of action in the pursuit of a common purpose" (Mooney, Principals of Organization). Lack of co-ordination is a common ailment in government. It may have mady causes, but underlying them all is usually defici8ncies in organization i.e.

overlapping, or poorly defined functicns of agencies. The problem is aggravated in urban areas because central government as well as

munioipal agencies usually aclminister closely related services.


. . Poor organization leads to conflict between agencies and their representa- t tve s ; obs.tructing co-operation between of'Li.cer s which is essential for the implementing ~f governmental operations. Responsibility and authority for administration of urban services must be clearly fixed.

A central organization and .methodsoffice oan help to bring about a rational alJ,ocation of functions among ministries, the effectuation of changes in the allocation as needed, and the establishment of


SEM/URB/t~130/Rev.l page 78

appropriate machinery to bring about co-ordination of their activities at various 'levels and especially within urban regions where it is most needed.

204. Powers and functionsshoulq. 1;e devolved upon local authorities to the fullest extent of their ability to discharge them. The lack of technical personnel may be an obstacle to devolution - although secondment of central 'government could offer a temporary solution.

Devolutiori:to local authorities ensures co-ordination at the local level of the devolved funotions, enables people locally to do what they can to meet local needs, and relieves central government of onerous details and unnecessary involvement in looal services. However, devolution should not be viewed as freeing the respective ministries of responsibility for· the technical quality and level of service, and where devolution of a service places a new financial burden upon the

local authorities, it is very impOrtant to ensure that suitable financial

arrangements are made.

205. The Ministry of Local Government or other agency that has primary responsibility for relations between central ag~ncies and local

authorities should be staffed to initiate mld review proposed changes in the organization~ funotions and areas of local authorities, to

provide teohnical assistance to local authorities in fields not covered

by other ministries, and to 'exercise general supervision over the activities of local authorities. It should also perform the very vital function of co-ordinating the activities of other government ministries as they affect the local authorities, e.g. works, health, planning mod roads, and foster co-ordination of the activities of central agencies and local authorities within urban regions.

206. In some African countries, such as Morocco, a large measure of co-ordination in urban areas is achieved by making an officer of the central government the administrative head both ~f mun'icipal: s~rvices and central government activities in suoh areas. In Chad and Mali, eleoted Mayors are responsible for co-ordinating central government and local government activities in their munioipalities. In the




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Sudan, arrangements are made for vertioal co-ordination along ,ri th devolution of authority by giving provincial or local councils

sufficient authority to co-o~dinate activities of goverpment agencies in the ir ar.eas • More complex forms have been established or are being considered in Nigeria, Uganda, and other countries where

urbanized areas do not usually coincide with administrative areas and councils have greater. control over administration of the muncipality's services. In Le"poldville, where ,there are two tiers of local

councils, council§ at the lower level provide a.means for bringing local govGrnment closer to the people while the parent coun\lil ensures

co-ordination of their activities.·

207. If l.cal authorities have adequate areas and forms of organizations,-~' they can provide the best means for co-ordination and administration of direct service in urban areas.

Local authority areas

208. Ideally, there should be a single or parent multi-purpose authority in each urban area and any special purpose bodies therein should be

subject to co-ordination by the local authority. This situation exists in countries srtch as the Congo (Leopoldville), Mali, Morocco, and the Sudan where it is politically practicable locally or by central government action to enlarge municipal bo~daries or to consolidate separateunits. Where such conditions do ,not exist, as in Lagos, a, . joint planningbo~y or common servioes organization for the urban region, or centralization of certain services, will probably be necessary. Separate local authorities for different racial groups

in the same urban regi'on are administratively wasteful as well as objectionable on other grounds.

0rganization and administration of local authoritiGs

209. The more democratic the method of electing and constituting local urban councils the more responsive they will bG to'the needso:f the people. Long residence requirements and property qualifications for vcting, and. constituencies based on racial or culturalcrigins tend to lessen, the ability of local authorities to deal with problems of



SEM/URB/AF/30/Rev.l page 80

urbanization. A 'br oad basis of suffrage and election of all counoiI»-

men at large or some at large and others by distrio-ts are most likely to provide the leadership required for conoer-ted aotion of governmental·

and voluntary 'bodi.e s leading to area-wide develOpment and the provision of assistance to those who need it most. This presupposes that

compe-tent llild honest civic leaders will be willing to run for the oouncil and that, where advisable, training courses will ~e held for eleoted councilmen - as in Uganda. It is a mat-ter f6r d~cision by each Gover-nrnerrt, ' of cours83, as to -the speed ·wi th which the above

ob~ective is achieved.

210. The powers of local councils vary widely between African

oountries - ranging from advisory in Madagascar and Mali -to subst~ntially autonomous as. in Nigeria.

211. Various arrangements exist for exercising the executive· powers of local authorities, for example, through council oommittees, an

appointed ohief exeoutive officer responsible to -the council and an

elected mayor. In some countries, an official of the central gQvernmen-t

has certain e xe cut Lve powe r s ;in mun i.c Lpe.Ldt i.e e which he exercises on

behalf of the central government. Although further research is needed on the advantages and disadvantages of the above arrangements, the group fawours an appointed career executive responsible to the council because of the special need in cities for professicnal competence in administration, co-ordination of technical departments, unified

responsibili-ty for policy determination and exe.cut Lon , and oontinuity of administration. Measures to fill foreseeable needs in the region for professional municipal administrators merit study.

Staff for looal authori-ties

212. The ability of local authorities to deal with problems of.

urbanization depends to a large extent on the staff available to them.

Entry to the local government service and promotions mus-t be based on technical qualifications rather than poli-tical considerations or kinship -ties. The salaries and other terms of local authority

employment must be adequate to attract and retain qualified personnel.

Moreover, training - both pre-entry and in-serVice - are needed for


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• steady improvement of the capability of staff. In some countries, expatriate officers still occupy bigher executive and technical

gracies of Lo'caL government se-rvioe and special measures are being taken to replace them,such as by having Afr-Lo an s serve apprenticeships under them.

213. -Various arr-angernenta -ezist to make local aut.hor-aty employment more attractive to professional and technical personnel. In the Sudan, such personnel of local authorities have the same status as central government personnel. In Eastern and Western Nigeria9 there is a unified local government service under a special commission which is responsible for millcing appOintments on the basis of merit, protecting employees against political pressures, facilitating advancement of employees through transfers of staff bet"een local authorities with continuity of pension rights, and improving generally the terms of local government service. In Tanganyika and Uganda, steps have been taken to establish similar local government s81'vice commissions. Still elsewhere, large municipalities have separate civil servic8 systems. Comparative study and exchange' of information in this field, espeoially with respect to unified local government sercLce s , would. be highly useful.

214. With respect to training, central ministries should see to the adeQuacy of training facilities for local government technical personnel in their respective fields. Special arrangements are required for in-service training of administrative, clerical and other personnel of local authorities, either through schools or institutes of public administration which have been established in a number of countries or separate municipal training institutions.

Oapital cities

215. The administrative problems of. capital cities d i.f'f'e r both in nature and magnitude from those of other cities due to (a) their

distinctive legal status in some cases, (b) their great attraction for persons from rural areas, ..f or- industries and fOT businesses 9 and (c) the special national interests involved in protection of foreign embassies and maintenance of public buildings, sites, mOlluments and


SEM/URB/AF/30/Rev.l page 82

services which must be satisfied along with the local needs of residentso Comparative study should be made of·the.distinctive administrative

problems that result from these factors and of methods of. dealing with them, and opportunity should be afforded through a seminar fo!:exchange of experience among administrators of capital cities in Africa.


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(b) Financial aspects of Urbanization

SEM/~1iB/AF/30/Eev.l pago 83


216. Just as administr~tivesystems differ between countrios,so also do

tho patterns of financial administration, mothods'of financing of urban sorvicos, 'and methods of capitalizing basic urban facilitios and development schomes.

Nevertheless, thore aro cortain ~enoralization3on oach of those financial ,a"pects of u:j:'banization thathavo wide application and morit consideration

by tho Afrie'an governmonts andintornational aGoncies that undertakoto assist them


this field.

217. It should be emphasized at tho outset that the principles of sound :einancial administr.::.tion (c.g. thoso perta.ining to budgeting,- accounting"

'" .-_.-.",",

collection custody and disbursemont of funds, contracts, purchasing and supply, and auditing) are applicable to urban as to rural or national administration.

This roport is conc o.rncd only with financial aapcc ts distinctive to urbanization but it is


to noto at the outset that tho failure to obsorve those principles of financial administration is a,main causo of graft, abusa in tho award' of contr<lct.s,and other forms of corruption <Thich too of ton aocompanf.os urbanization in Africa as well ,as olse<Thoru in tho <Torld. Tho povorty of Africa, dospito itspotontialitios, is such that it cannot afford to ano<T dishonosty in the managoment of funds that havo boon raisod by toil and sweat.

Financial Administration

218. Rocallin~ that co-ordination of progrWTh"OS in urban areaS i$ ana of the main administra tivo probloms associatod with rapid urban grm[t~,~tho liork:sJ:wli'...

stresses tho valuo of national and local budgeting and lonG~rengG financial

program~os at national and local lovqls as instruments 9f co-ordination in planning and. oxecutinG' urbanization programmes. Tho activities of the Unitod N,!, tions in assisting ,.African govornmen ts . to improve thoir budget and accounting

classification a~d budget managemont at tho national lovol should be yontinuod and extended, tod~al mor~ fUlly )lith budgot classification and managoment for local authoritios. Thoso activitios <Till not only improve natio~al and


" ...4"'b.",;,,~-'';;''of ,"_ -- .,.~ .~...',"-''-r!.",h ".-- -

SEJYj/UIU3/AF/30/Bev~1 page 84

local proGramming for urban fiiroas; but also j:lro'!:ide a basis for useful comparative and regional analysis in many fiolds.

219. Tho development of a prefessional cadre of municipal finance officqrS"

who are technically competent and incorruptible, is an essential first step in improving financial administratien. This involves careful selection and both pro-entry and in-service training for which priority should bo given in tochnical assistanco programmos.

220. Enapoc td on. of' local authority f'Lnanci.aL operations,imd' po.r-i.od.Lc.caud.i,ta a.xe essential. Audit reports should be presented and, if necessary, read to'

members of local councils. In the larger oountries, regional supervision of local gevornment finances is highly desirable.

Financial rosponsibility

221. The many problems of rapid ur-ban Grovrth, ospecially tho urgent

demands for oxpansion,of facilitios and servicos lThich hose beon discussed in other panels of tho Workshep, are clea.rly r:oflected in tho financial sphoro.

Traditional concepts of central-local fi.nancial relationships are based on mere static condi,tions of urban life; Undor conditions of rapid urban grewth;"

tho contral i','ovornment must assume responsibility for ensuring that funds arc available to provide at least the minimum of facilities and services essontial fer healthful living. It can do this by vesting 'local authori'tios with powers

to raiso r-evenue by taxatien and athol' TIl0anS, by makinG: "raritsavailablO to supplement local r-cvcnu oe , by makinG loans avai Lab'l o at rca,e;onab:)'o,ra,tes, and by supervising tho financial operations of local authorities.

Local taxes and "ther revenues

222. The principal tax~s cf local authorities are (a) preperty taxes

(i.e. en land or buildings or both) and (b) personal taxes. Although property may net be ablo .to bear as full a share of. the cost ef public services under conditiens of rapid urban growth as elsewhere, the unoarned increment of property values reSUlting from urbanizatien provides a legitimato basis for taxatien and hasbeon appliod successfully in a n~~b6r 'ef African co~ntrios.

Whilo recv;"nizing that tribal and certain othor forms of land'owllership may


'·'$"-T-- '52' rrE7~ 200 etO <Wb T%



page 85 .

• compId ca.t o the in tredugtionof a property tax, it is hoped that in due oourse oiroumstanoes wi.l1 p.)rmit .its introduQtien in Afrioan towns whcro i t ·do.os.

not oxf.st, .io rcovor , "heret)lo.proper,ty tax oxd sts and prorvidos aprinoipal souroe of funds for urban servioos, the oontral governmont should paytaxos

or make paymonts in lieu of taxes for its own proportios wi thin tho mun.l.c Lpa'Li, ties.

Furthor study is ncod.od on tho relativo morits ef .different forms of valuation undor diff"ront types of urbanization oonditions in Afrioa.

223" Tho Workshep disoussed different tYP9s of 'property valuation-In

,a¢i.ditipn to familiar types. such as site va'Luat.Lonv rental value, and' flat .r-at cs for different sootors of a munioipali ty, montion was made of tho,.practio.e .Ln Moroooo of taxi~g tho additionalvaluoof buildings ~ttributable to thoi


Loca t.Lon, Scmo courrtr-i ca havo found i tadvisable to tax, hoavily priyat,o land that isvaoant in order to compel its salo. or development. Further, study. is neoded on the relative merits of different ferms of valuatien upder difforent types of urbanization oonditions in Afrioa •.:\

224. Personal, taxes, oommononly in nest ,Afri.oa ,may havea' placo lrhorO', for various roasons, a property tax may be unsuitable. Shared taxes in whioh looal oounoils may apply aoooss on a national tax (o.g. inoomo tax) oolleoted by tho oentral government, alse merit study and oonsideratien.

225. j!)armarked taxes (i. c. those leyi::>d, for apoci a L puxpo ac s suoh as

oduca't Lon} are not, as'a goneral rule, advisable - espooiallY·in·urbal'lareas.

They should be a LLouod , perhaps in oxcop txonaI ca r cums tancos , but only: for a limited poriod. Thoy often enable people to satisfy an urgently felt neod.

For oxemplo, montion 11as made of tho suocossful use in


tax Q;('3 .1'9;<' oont on tho rontal value of·.property,tho".proceods ofwhioh are uaod for oapi taliz,ation of loans for horne ir.oprovemen t.. . Hewever, cumulatively, earmarked taXJS (liGtort programming, croa tevested' interests inj specialized activi tiqs, and Los sonrthc peeple's dispos.i tion tosti:p~lortgenoral.. govornmental oxpondi turcs •. 'Study i"neodeduf tho taxresourcQs of .Loca), authori tiosi

inoludil)g, net enly p:l1oporty andvpo r scna'L .taxce, but also inoometaxos;'rexcise ta..",os,and .othor potontial tax scurces, including. also t.he .problems .of. tax adminicstratiol).



SEM/URJ3/AF/30/Rev.l page


226 Taxes on the passagoof gciods should be disallciw'odand exemption from looal taxation forpurposo, of attraoting now industrios should be

corrt.ro Ll.od by'the' central govoz-nmcn't, ',i:ioreover, the licensing power should not be used for' purpcisesof taxation.

2'27 Municipalities should develop sources of revenue

, ,

such as 'charges for'servioos rondorod - ospecially"here

besides taxos, differ<Jncos in

, ,

extent of use can be readily established'; reasenablo prefi ts from public enterprises and, also profits from commercial typeonterprises which local

authodtios' should be freoto develop provided thoy do not compete with private '. brit'oj;.pt-'i"so.

228 ,Rents on municipally-owned commercial, business and othor propeI'ty, including public housing - except that for the noody - also offers a


source of local rovenues'under conditions of regional

{,''' " , '

urban growth. Although local authori tios should not profi tfrom tho rental of housing to the noedy, to tho oxtent that thoro is a subsidy for housing, the largest sharo 'sheuldbe born:> by the centralgcivornmont.

229 State or municipal ownership of public lands isdesir~bleunder cond'i tions of rapid urban growth such as in the case of new or ca,: elli te tmrns so that in6remonts in land values can be usod fer capitalization of facilities and other public benefits. It is rocognized, howoVer; that

existing oonditionsof land ownership and other considerations may render this impracticable. '


230, Local authorities should not be restrioted in'the functions dovolvod upon them -bocausc of their limited financial resources. General or deficiency grantsprovid,ci a means fer aupp Len crrtd.ng Lnadoquabc local resources and

of'.equalizing dispari tios in the wealth of communities. Grants for speoifio purposes,:canstimulatci needed activities "such as local planning, centribute to;rard improvemen tsin standards ef services, and fo,cili tate intogration of national and local ~rogrammes. Tho f(~~ulaa fOr grants should be simple, should permit a reasonably exact estimate of tho amounts to be availablo and


rtfS<·"t" -1f~-- 'T ' 1 7'7

should provide for an increase with the expansien of the services involved.

GriJ,nts, must .bo tailored to the circums:);ances of each" country and shou'Ld be reviowed :frc>mt~moto..timeto ensur-e that :);hey, age servicing the de$ired.

pur'po aoa, Comparative study of cxpcr-Lcnco With grant,,-in,.-a,idas, a guidO to"

their use by African governments would be most useful.

Capital requiroments

231 The capital requirements ef local governments must inevitably be

considered as patt of the national capital l..ovoTopment pro",'ramme. ,At the same titlle,local authoritias should be aasur cd of roceiving a fair share of capital resources available to finance facilities for Irhich t4ey are responsible. In considering a nation's borrowing capacity, the resources available te local authorities to tax and otherwise to service the loans should be takon into account. In order to plan ahead effectively for capital development, all largo municipalities and indeed the smaller ones as well, should prepare periodic

capi tal budgets, 1.e. at intervals of three to five yeo.rs ;;i thin theJ framevrork of longer range plans. Only in this way can the municipality plan realistically and decide on satisfactory conclusions as to the priorities which should bo given to the various typos of developmont noodod in tho aroa. iJorcovor, the preparation of the capital pro",rammes for urban regions can act as a catalyst to attract capital and to inspire national, municipal and voluntary agencies to work actively and harmoniously toward realization of the programmos.

232 Very few African citios are in the position of being ablo to raise capital for development through direct borrewing on their own account. They have theroforo to roly on tho contral government or upon a spocial agency which'may be ostablished for this purposo. Whero thosocontral agoncies have

beon establishod they have helped te facilitat0 borrowing of money by local authorities at reasonable rates. Any country which doos not already have such a"centralized lending agency should consider establishing one. To that end, it'i~ 'recommonded that the United Nations make available to the African govern- ments'infermation on'natienal credit institutions for local authorities in either par-ts of the world. Since African govornmonts lack capital for urban as wdii as other projects, it is recommended that intvrnational loan agenCies give

. "' 'r'-



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,I ..


page 88

, ,

favourable 6onsider~tionto requests projects. This would have the added exchange for these projects; ,

: \'

of gevernments fer urban devolopment benefit of providing noeded foreign

'.- .


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