Authors: Carlos Nunes Silva*, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Topics: Political Geography, Urban Geography, Africa
Keywords: Local Government, Decentralization, Local autonomy, Urban Governance, Africa
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Stones Throw 2 - Slate, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
The concept of Governance have gradually replaced that of Government in the literature dealing with the way cities are governed since the 1980's. In this context, the degree of autonomy of local government, one of the key elements of any urban governance system, is largely perceived as an important dimension of good urban governance. The evidence suggests that different degrees of decentralization and different degrees of local government autonomy affects local government capacity to govern cities, its policy outcomes, efficiency, as well as the accountability and the quality of local democracy. Recent years witnessed major advances in the study of decentralization in developed countries. There is the need to apply these approaches to other less developed countries. This is particularly the case of African countries. In this paper, I explore the nature and organization of local government and its role in the governance of cities in Africa through the analysis of the ongoing local government institutional reforms in three African countries: Angola, Cape Verde, and Mozambique. It aims to contribute to the understanding of the specificities of the decentralization processes in Africa through the analysis and comparison of the institutional reforms in progress in these three countries.