Neighbourhood and district economic development

The majority of African urban residents live and work in informal settlements, engaged in small-scale, often home-based economic activities. Earnings from these activities are typically low and precarious, with informal moneylenders providing vital services to residents, but usually on exploitative terms.

Some residents work beyond their neighbourhood, through their own microenterprises or employed by larger businesses, which tend to be more stable, regularised and with better established markets. However, due to unreliable infrastructure services and limited benefits of co-location in African cities, there are few such firms, so their contribution to poverty reduction and structural transformation is limited.

Looking through ACRC’s political economy lens, neighbourhood and district economic development reflects the distribution of economic and land rent in the local economy. City systems need to be mobilised so that enterprises can function smoothly. The living standards of the urban poor in these neighbourhoods could therefore be improved by strengthening city economies, generating “decent work” opportunities and boosting entrepreneurial skills. This involves a wide range of key actors, including  economic development agencies, business/trade associations, informal business networks, trade unions and other labour organisations, and local politicians.

Within the neighbourhood and district economic development domain, we are initially focusing on the following cities:

LATEST NEWS from ACRC

Youth and capability development in Freetown, Maiduguri and Mogadishu: Reflections from the RGS-IBG Annual Conference

Youth and capability development in Freetown, Maiduguri and Mogadishu: Reflections from the RGS-IBG Annual Conference

The Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Annual Conference, brings together geographers and researchers interested in place, space and beyond, from across the UK and the world. This gathering gave ACRC’s youth and capability development domain an opportunity to share insights from our focus cities of Freetown, Maiduguri and Mogadishu.

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