Urban Upgrading in Africa: A Summary of Rapid Assessments in Ten Countries

The World Bank

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Date Published 2002
Primary Author Sumila Gulyani & Genevieve Connors
Other Authors
Theme Neighborhood Upgrading
Country Senegal


The Africa: Regional Urban Upgrading Initiative, financed in part by a grant from the Norwegian Trust Fund, is examining and selectively supporting urban upgrading programs in Sub-Saharan Africa through a variety of interventions. One component of the initiative focuses on distilling lessons from three decades of urban development and upgrading projects in the region. Specifically, the objective of this component is to assess what worked and what did not work in previous projects for upgrading lowincome settlements in Africa, and to identify ways in which interventions aimed at delivering services to the poor can be better designed and targeted. As a first step, rapid assessment case studies were commissioned for five Anglophone countries (Ghana, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia) and five Francophone countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal). Each of these ten Country Assessment Reports provides an overview of the history of upgrading programs and policies in a given country and presents project or community specific case studies to identify lessons learned. Taken together, these ten reports offer insight into the nature and diversity of upgrading approaches in Africa. This paper synthesizes and analyzes the main issues presented in the ten country reports. It highlights some of the challenges in and lessons learned about delivering services to the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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