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The politics of urban governance in sub-Saharan Africa


Year published: 2020
Categories: Journal Article

Author / Authors:

  • Danielle Resnick


Regional & Federal Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13597566.2020.1774371


A number of international development initiatives increasingly give recognition and authority to city governments in sub-Saharan Africa. However, key features of urban governance in Africa vary substantively, which can affect the viability of achieving such development goals. This paper focuses on how these features vary vertically (i.e. across levels of government), horizontally (i.e. across local governments), and between local governments and societal actors. In doing so, it highlights many of the political issues that come to the fore across countries with different types of decentralization structures and party systems. While urban governance scholarship traditionally has been the domain of those focused on developed countries, the paper encourages more analysis in the African context given the range of service delivery issues likely to confront the region as it transitions to become a majority urban in the coming decades.


  • Journal Article