Sir, Sebastian Mallaby’s spirited defence of capitalism (“Shortsighted complaints about short-term capitalism”, August 6) highlights one o
Throughout the developing world, people are voting with their feet and heading citywards. The future looks increasingly urban, and economic growth, employment prospects, and the quality of life are coming to depend upon the dynamism and health of cities. If urban economic engines falter or fail, both local and national consequences could be severe.
The purpose of this paper is to sketch a strategy for African late starters. It identifies the key objectives and the mix of policy initiatives appropriate for a post‐financial‐crisis environment where South‐South trade and capital flows are taking on a greater salience.
Africa is urbanizing fast. Its rate of urbanization soared from 15 percent in 1960 to 40 percent in 2010, and is projected to reach 60 percent in 2050 (UN Habitat 2010). Urban populations in Africa are expected to triple in the next 50 years, changing the profile of the region, and challenging policy makers to harness urbanization for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Archaeological evidence suggests that cities as recognizable entities arose in the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers around 3,200 BCE—some 10,000 years after the domestication of rye (and other grains later), and 5,000 years after the emergence of village communities that prioritized intensive agriculture over hunting and gathering.
Alan Blinder at a recent LEAD Conference at Georgetown University said that the U.S. report card should be marked, “needs improvement,” next to both “growth” and “sharing of income gains.” In what he calls “a horribly muddled debate,” Blinder reminds us that growth is demand-driven in the short run and supply-driven in the long run.
In this policy brief, Mila Freire, the Growth Dialogue's Senior Advisor, reviews the challenges of African urbanization as well as opportunities for sustainable development in the region.