African countries confront vast economic, social, and environmental challenges. Although urban issues bear upon many of these challenges, they have remained a secondary priority for governments and the international community. The growing gap between infrastructure and services already built and those needed demands a drastic change in the scale of urban financing. This book aims to begin that reexamination. It offers a broad methodological perspective and several operational avenues to bolster and modernize the financing that cities urgently require. The financing of urban investments involves several aspects of local government fiscal matters: public finance, administrative law, taxation, monitoring and controlling of subsovereign debt, urban administration and governance, and so on. It also involves other sectors, such as land management, land development, and housing. This book defines its geographic scope as two concentric circles within Africa, as described below. It also draws on other regions: the most developed or emerging countries outside the African continent that can furnish examples illuminating or adaptable to, the African context. This volume is organized into five chapters and an appendix containing eight case studies. Chapter one addresses the fundamentals. Chapter two analyzes urbanization and sectoral policies across the African continent. Chapter three is dedicated to Africa's decentralization, basic services provision, and local governance issues. Chapter four examines local governments' investment financing frameworks currently in use in Africa and new, recently emerged sources of financing. Chapter five addresses strategic and operational ideas for infrastructure and local investment financing, anticipating Africa's exceptional urban growth in the coming decades.
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