Urbanization and Insecurity in West Africa Population Movements Mega

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					Urbanization and
Insecurity in West Africa
Population Movements, Mega Cities and
Regional Stability

October 2007
The challenge of rapid urbanization in West Africa: going nowhere fast or crossing the bridge of hope?
                      Table of Contents

Preface by Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Special
Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa

 1. Current demographic trends and potential instability

 2. The growth of mega cities and continuing rapid

 3. Rural-urban migrations and natural increases
    in population

 4. Urbanization and environmental degradation
       a. Scarcity of viable land
       b. Food insecurity
       c. Pollution and environmental health

 5. Intra-regional migrations and urbanization
        a. Migrating into instability and conflict
        b. Case Study: Ivory Coast’s civil strife

 6. Fast Urbanization and criminality
        a. Urbanization, poverty and slum conditions
        b. Case study: Nigeria’s urban conflict

 7. Conclusion by way of a RECOMMENDATION


• Table 1. West Africa: current demographic indicators

• Table 2. West Africa: food production index per
           inhabitant (1980-2003)

• Table 3. Distribution of urban-sizes in Ghana (1970-2000)


• Box 1. Some observations on West African
         demographic trends

• Box 2. Current trends in West African migration

• Box 3. Some indicators of the slum conditions affecting
         the region (UN-Habitat)

• Box 4. Aspects of decentralization policies based
         on Ghana’s case

AU       African Union
CILSS    Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought
         Control in the Sahel
DESA     United Nations Department for Economic and
         Social Affairs
ECOWAP ECOWAS Agricultural Policy
ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
EU       European Union
FAO      Food and Agricultural Organization
FEWS     Famines Early Warning Systems Network
GDP      Gross Domestic Product
GNI      Gross National Income
ICG      International Crisis Group
ILO      International Labor Organization
IOM      International Organization for Migration
IMF      International Monetary Fund
NESMUWA Network of Survey on Migration and
         Urbanization in West Africa
OHCHR    Office of the United Nations High
         Commissioner for Human Rights
PICUM    Platform for International Cooperation on
         Undocumented Migrants
PRODICAP Promotion of District Capitals Project
PRSP     Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
SAP      Structural Adjustment Program
UNDP     United Nations Development Program
UNEP     United Nations Environment Program
UNFPA    United Nations Population Fund
UNICEF   United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIDO    United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women
UN-HABITAT United Nations Human Settlements Program
UNHCR    Office of the United Nations High
         Commissioner for Refugees
UNOWA    United Nations Office for West Africa
WFP      World Food Program
WHO      World Health Organization

   “How Africa fares in reaching the Millennium Development Goals
   is a matter of life and death for millions of Africans. It is also a test
   of the ability of the United Nations to carry out the mandate our
   membership has given us. It will be one of my priorities to ensure that
   we meet that test -- and I will take steps to strengthen the Organization
   accordingly. ”

                                                   Extract from Address by
                                       UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
                                        at the Summit of the African Union
                                in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), January 29, 2007


Fast growing urbanization in sub-Saharan           was at the time of the Industrial Revolution.
Africa, and especially West Africa, is like        Not surprisingly, today largest and fastest
climate change. It has been endlessly debated      growing cities -like Mexico, Lagos or Jakarta,
with no forceful solution proposed. Despite        are located there as are the greatest challenges:
the many ordeals that come with unplanned          planning cities for triggering sustainable
or unmanaged urbanization, hardly anybody          growth has become one of the major concerns
has been able to reverse the process. Africa       at the beginning of the third millennium.
has now the highest rate of urban growth in
the world – four point four per cent against a     This issue, along with managing the continued
global average of two point five per cent.          population explosion and effecting an adequate
                                                   distribution of food and other resources in a
Although the continent still has relatively        healthy environment, is central to the question
few inhabitants living in cities, more and         of what the future of humanity will look like.
more people are moving from rural to urban         Secretary General Ban Kin-Moon has already
areas – increasing the risk of violence and        set as priorities global warming and the respect
environmental degradation. If the current          of basic human rights.
trend continues, two third of all Africans
would be living in cities by the year 2020.        During its mission to West Africa in June
                                                   2004, the Security Council has expressed
Urbanization has occurred in nearly every          concerns about the securities impact of fast
part of the world. People move into cities         growing urbanization. This paper is a tentative
to seek economic opportunities. In rural           response to those concerns and a new addition
areas, and even more in afflicted sub-              to a series of issues papers by UNOWA,
Saharan regions, it is difficult to improve         notably Youth Unemployment and regional
one’s standard of living beyond basic              Insecurity in West Africa (December 2005).
sustenance. Farm living is dependent on            Its purpose is to discuss how fast growing
unpredictable environmental conditions, and in     urbanization and population movements
times of drought, flood or pestilence, survival     affect security in the sub region.
becomes extremely problematic. Wealth,             In sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in Latin
in contrast, is concentrated in cities, as are     America, the Middle East, and parts of Asia,
businesses, which generate jobs and revenues.      urbanization has been radically decoupled
Whether the source is trade or tourism, it is      from industrialization and even from
also through the cities that domestic as well as   development per se.
foreign money flows into the country.
                                                   Drawing on numerous field researches from
In Europe and North America, the cities            international agencies, as well as case studies
grew mainly in the late nineteenth-and early       in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast or Niger, this
twentieth-century, as they were flooded with        paper shows that, in West Africa, the “perverse”
farm-workers displaced by the mechanization        urban boom has somehow been able to slow
of agriculture. In the Southern Hemisphere,        the migration from the countryside. It has not
however, urbanization is at the stage where it     been able, however, to reverse the chaotic rapid

                                           URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 9
urbanization. Natural increases in population,        As West Africa’s capital cities continue to
bad management of scarce resources and lack           be overcrowded, the resulting pollution is
of accountability are the culprits.                   a contributor to emerging environmental
                                                      disasters. Hence the necessities to raise
In West Africa, the growth of slums                   awareness at all levels and draw attention,
– the most obvious effect of unmanaged and            especially of policy makers, on the linkages
unplanned urbanization – has been the norm            between rapid urbanization, peace and
with more than ninety per cent of the urban           security.
population living in sub-standard conditions.
These projections are even bigger in countries        If not properly and urgently addressed,
like Sierra Leone or Niger (96%), Mauritania          this situation could cause lasting instability
(94%), Guinea Bissau and Mali (93%).                  and many new ordeals. As pointed out by Mike
In addition to being deprived of landownership,       Davis in his book Planet of Slums, if mega cities
slum dwellers suffer from poor access to              are the brightest stars in the urban firmament,
improved sanitation, water supplies or other          three quarters of the burden of the population
utilities - electricity and sewage disposal.          growth will be borne by faintly visible
They also suffer from ‘”overcrowding”, the lack       second-tier cities: places where “there is little or
of sufficient living space due to the habit of         no planning to accommodate these people or
having large and extended families.                   provide them with services”. Decentralization
                                                      and local development should, therefore, be at
West Africa’s youth, aged 30 or under, makes          the centre of urban governance.
up sixty per cent of total population of about
270 million. Most of them, unemployed,                The Kyoto agreement addresses climate change.
have no hope of getting a decent job. They            Sadly enough, there is no Kyoto convention for
often find themselves wandering the slums              fast growing urbanization. With the poorest
where maintaining law and order is extremely          populations flocking into the cities, it is
difficult. In Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city and of     only by providing better civic education and
the fastest growing in the world, indigenous          participation to the many West African urban
populations control the centres, while migrants       dwellers that the rush backward into the age of
from other region encroach in shantytowns             Dickens is to be avoided.
and protected neighbourhoods. The city has
become one of the cliché par excellence of            Finally, I would like to address my special
“Third World Urban Dysfunction”.                      thanks and those of my UNOWA colleagues
                                                      to the Department of Political affairs (DPA)
Intra regional migration can also be a source         in New York for their sustained support,
of tensions between native populations and            and most particularly to Under-Secretary-
immigrant urban settlers. The recent conflict          General B. Lynn Pascoe for his sincere
in Ivory Coast is a point in case. But the most       encouragement, fresh and sound approach to
significant consequence of the emergence of            issues. Many thanks also to my colleagues from
mega cities is to be felt in the surrounding          UN agencies – UN Habitat, UNICEF, UNFPA,
environment. The scarcity of viable land              UNEP, and IOM - for their cooperation.
when combined with drought, desertification
or collapsing agricultural capacity increases                               Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah
competition for farming, pasture and hunting.                                  Special Representative
Hence a decline in both subsistence and export                               of the Secretary-General
agriculture, with food security becoming a                                             for West Africa
major strategic issue: tension and conflicts
over space and market shares are widespread.

Current Demographic Trends
and Potential Instability
West Africa’s cities are growing rapidly in a      International development agencies generally
context of population movements, natural           recognize that vibrant large cities are catalysts
human increases, environmental degradation,        for cultural interchange and contribute a larger
and scarcity of natural resources as well as       share of national growth output. Urbanization
declining levels of sustenance. With rapid and     can lead to overall economic growth. It is an
unplanned urbanization come many ordeals:          integral part of socio-economic development.
transport chaos and human congestion,              Such positive benefits of urbanization can
unregulated building and construction              only occur in a national context where they are
projects, health hazards such as environmental     increasing economic and commercial activities,
pollution, spread of communicable diseases,        agricultural consumption, industrialization
rising unemployment and social tensions.           and the purposeful, planned, regular provision
Furthermore, in the absence of appropriate         of infrastructure. Unfortunately, the member
action to confront the problems of unplanned       states of ECOWAS plus Mauritania, which
or unmanaged rapid urbanization, the results       make up the West African sub-region, are
will be general human insecurity and instability   among the least developed in the world. While
both nationally and sub-regionally.                human development levels are ranked well
                                                   below the world average, population growth
Large-scale urbanization in West Africa is
characterized by a chaotic and rampant             Urbanization can be a positive phenomenon
expansion of urban spaces. Almost                  in terms of human development and national
half of the sub-region’s population of             integration, but it has to be managed and
270 million inhabitants is concentrated in         manageable. It also has to provide for
human settlements located in the southern          infrastructures and services, create jobs and
and coastal belt areas, which make up less         tackle the problem of insecurity by reducing
than 10% of total surface area. This trend is      urban criminality.
not specific to West Africa; coastal areas show
population densities and levels of urbanization    in this region is much higher than average.1
that are 20 to 30% higher than in non-coastal      Therefore, for a sub-region affected by low
areas. Urbanization of what are non-urban          human development and beset sadly in the past
spaces can help change the prevailing dormant      two decades by a woeful record of civil conflict
character of local livelihoods, especially as      and political governance, rapid, unplanned
agriculture, traditional local services and        urbanization should be a major concern for
small-scale industry give way to modern            national governments, their policy planners and
industry as well as intense commercial activity.   international development partners.

                                          URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 11
Expanding populations, especially in
                                                        The current population of Niger, the second
rapidly urbanizing areas, take a toll on
                                                        largest and least developed country in the sub-
environmental sustainability and food
                                                        region, stands at over 14 million inhabitants4;
subsistence. As an UN Secretary-General’s
                                                        yet its population could be heading for over
report emphasizes, “Population growth in
                                                        50 million inhabitants in 2050 if current
the developing world and increased per capita
                                                        projections are borne out. Owing to the food
consumption in the industrialized world have
                                                        insecurity situation, Niger was compelled
led to greater demand for scarce resources.
                                                        to import hundreds of thousands of tons
The loss of arable land, water scarcity, over fishing,
                                                        of food in 2005. At the same time, 96% of
deforestation and the alteration of ecosystems
                                                        households in the country use firewood as
pose daunting challenges for sustainable
                                                        their sole source of domestic fuel. As the
development. Feeding such a rapidly growing
                                                        country’s remaining trees disappear, prices of
population will only be possible if agricultural
                                                        fuel wood will continue to rise – accentuating
yields can be increased significantly.”2 The
                                                        social instability as a result of price rises and
effects of competition for scarce land and
natural resources can be very damaging to
social cohesion. Even countries with a far
lower level of population density are likely to         Growing         unemployment          -especially
bear the consequences of a rapid urbanization           youth unemployment-, in the urban areas
fuelled by population movements or growth               of West Africa serves to compound the
taking place in a context of environmental              problem. In Liberia and Sierra Leone,
degradation, scarcity of resources, slow                “not a single ex-combatant or ex-refugee
economic growth and unemployment.                       interviewed in either country expressed
This mixture carries potential seeds of endless         a willingness to return to farming”.5
future instability if no sound remedial action          In the absence of productive incentives, young
is taken.                                               men and women may prefer dire poverty in the
                                                        cities to dire poverty in the rural areas. There
West African cities may have the highest                are no attractions or incentives for them to live
proportion of inhabitants from outside                  in rural areas. They prefer the life in the cities
the country – known as “International                   and, to go back, they will have to be motivated
Urbanization”. Migration flows take on a                 strongly.
notable international rural to urban character,
with rural populations flocking to the cities of         With a population of around 430 millions
neighbouring or even far-away African nations.3         people in 2020 – that is an increase of 100 million
While the world average population growth rate          inhabitants, West Africa’s current demography
stands at 1.1%, West Africa’s annual population         and insecurity situation is illustrated by a
growth rate stands at 2.3% - one indicator              predominance of youth seeking employment;
that accounts for the rapid urbanization of             increased urbanization; pressure on land and
its cities. At this higher than average rate,           food security; socio-economic infrastructure
the sub-region’s population will more than              needs for an expanding population; heightened
double by 2050. The natural result of this              migratory movements. “These are the many
projected growth is the continuing pressure             issues that will be the source of tensions, even
on land and other resources. Environmental              conflicts to which societies and governments
degradation will become severely accentuated            within the region will need to respond”.6
through the overexploitation of depleting
natural resources. The environmental health
effects of unmanaged or unmanageable
urbanization cannot be over-estimated.

Table 1. West Africa’s current demographic indicators
Country       Surface     Total       Pop.       Projected   % Avg.   %        %        Total       Pop/ha   %        GNI
              Area (in    Pop (in     Density    pop for     pop.     Urban    Urban    fertility   arable   Access   per
              km2)        millions)   (persons   2050 (in    growth   popula   growth   rate        &        to       capita
                          (2006)      per        millions)   rate     tion     rate     (2006)      perma    impr     PPP$
                                      km2)                   (2005-   (2005)   (2005-               nent     oved     (2004)
                                                             2010)             2010)                crop     drin
                                                                                                    land     king
Benin         112,622     8.7         77         22.1        3.0      40       4.0      5.56        1.4      68       1,120
Burkina       267,950     13.6        51         39.1        2.9      18       5.1      6.45        2.3      51       1,220
Cape          4,033
Verde *
Côte          320, 783    18.5        57         34.0        1.2      45       2.7      4.64        1.2      84       1,390
Gambia        10,689      1.6         150        3.1         2.3      54       3.9      4.35        3.5      82       1,900
Ghana         238,538     22.6        94         40.6        1.9      48       3.4      4.00        1.8      79       2,280
Guinea        245,857     9.6         39         23.0        2.2      33       3.6      5.64        4.2      51       2,130
Guinea        36,123      1.6         44         5.3         2.9      30       3.2      7.10        2.2      59       690
Liberia **    99,065      3.4         34         10.7        2.9      58       4.1      6.80        3.5      62
Mali          1,240,198   13.9        11         42.0        2.9      30       4.7      6.69        2.1      48       980
Mauritania    1,035,000   3.2          3         7.5         2.7      40       3.3      5.57        3.0      56       2,050

Niger         1,186,408   14.4        12         50.2        3.3      17       4.4      7.64        0.8      46       830
Nigeria       923,768     134.4       145        258.1       2.1      48       3.7      5.49        1.2      60       930
Senegal       196,722     11.9        60         23.1        2.3      42       2.9      4.63        3.2      72       1,720
Sierra        71,740      5.7         79         13.8        2.1      41       3.8      6.50        4.8      57       790
Togo          56,785      6.3         111        13.5        2.5      40       4.3      4.98        1.3      51       1,690
ALL WA        6,046,281   269.8                  587.0       2.3      42       3.7      5.50                 62       1,409
World total               6,540.3                9,075.9     1.1      49       2.0      2.58                 83       8,760
or average                billion                billion                                                              range
                                                                                                                      – 620

* Figures for Cape Verde calculated into overall sub-regional statistics
** GNI figure not available for Liberia
Sources: Table has been customized mainly with data and statistics extracted from:
(i) The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA)
http://www.unfpa.org/ State of the World Population 2006, Table of Demographic, Social and
Economic Indicators, pp.98-101.
(ii) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
http://www.hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2006/pdf/hdr06 summary. PDF Human Development
Report 2006, Table of Human Development Indicators, pp. 283-286.

                                                         URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 13
Box 1. Current West African demographic trends

(i) With the average population growth rate nearing 2.5%, it is estimated that West Africa’s
current population will double by 2050. The above trend has been explained mainly by a
rise in the natural rate of increase in the population and also by increasing migrations.

(ii) Nigeria’s population of 134.4 million inhabitants makes up approximately 50%
of West Africa’s population of about 270 million inhabitants. Nigeria is Africa’s most
populous country, the largest economy and by far the largest contributor to ECOWAS
budget and peacekeeping efforts. Any instability in Nigeria is bound to have sub-regional

(iii) West Africa’s demography is marked by an uneven distribution of human settlements
and an uneven socio-economic development of regions and areas.

(iv) Although the sub-region’s fertility rates have been declining since the 1970s due to the
increase in the average age at marriage, the development of family planning, migration
of rural populations to urban centers, and increasing access to education, the rates are
still among the highest in the world. Table 1 puts the world total fertility rate (2006) at
an average of 2.58 children per woman of child-bearing age, compared to West Africa’s
average of 5.50.

(v) West Africa’s population is the most mobile in Africa, and this drives the trend of
urbanization. There is a growing trend of migration southwards towards the coasts,
owing largely to reducing levels of agricultural or pastoral land and other resources in the
north sahelian regions. Coastal areas and southern urban centers have high densities of
population (to as much as 124 inhabitants per square kilometer).

(vi)Youth, under the age of 30, make up about 60% of the sub-region’s current
population of about 270 million inhabitants. West Africa’s youth is affected by high levels
of unemployment.

        Sources: UNFPA – State of the World Population 2006; UN Habitat – State of the
         World’s Cities Report 2006/7; UNDP – Human Development Report 2006 (NB:
                                                 Information customized for this box)

The Growth of Mega Cities and Continuing
Rapid Urbanization
Whether due to natural causes (high birth rates)   of youth are part of a migration movement,
or through migratory movements (rural-urban        for example rural-urban exodus, to a
exodus), the increase of population makes          confined space already plagued by population
competing user-demands on land and other           growth and other demographic pressures.
scarce natural resources. It also puts pressure    In the presence of factors such as poverty,
on the environment and leads to social tensions    frustration, high unemployment and
among different interest groups. This is an        other socio-economic deprivations, a high
age-old problem, common to all parts of the        proportion of youth could become a factor in
world. However, in the socio-economic context      social tensions.9
of West Africa, this demographic pressure          (ii) Rapid urban growth - Countries with rapid
represents a radical crisis of development and     rates of urban population growth are twice as
sustainability. The sub-region’s demographic       likely as countries below this benchmark to
landscape presents a mix of high natural           experience civil conflict and instability in the
growth, intense rural-urban and north-             period after the 1990s. Urban populations
south migrations as well as large presences        tend to be diverse, bringing disparate ethnic,
of sub-regional migrants across national           religious and regional groups into close social
borders - such as in the case of Ivory Coast.      contact;10
This mix represents ethnic differences
and problems of integration. When left             In the recent civil conflicts of Sierra Leone
unaddressed, the outcome could be conflict          and Liberia, unemployed, frustrated and
and instability.7                                  disillusioned youth have been targeted for
                                                   paid recruitment by armed rebel factions.
A development study8 has identified three
demographic stress factors, also applicable to
the West African context, which could create       (iii) Reducing levels of resources -
tensions either individually or combined:          such as increasing competition for
(i) High proportion of youth (the                  land space, cropland and fresh water.
Youth      Bulge)     in     a    geographical     The evidence from case studies11 suggests that
context where there are few resources,             the major causes of civil conflicts that are
few employment opportunities and youth             linked with declines in available land space,
frustration in the search for livelihood and       cropland and fresh water have been generated
status. This occurs either when there are          by the decreasing capacity of rural or urban
high fertility rates and declining rates of        areas to maintain secure livelihoods and
childhood mortality or where large numbers         absorb growing populations.

                                          URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 15
West Africa’s rapid urbanization is also an              concentrate in one or a few large cities and this
indicator of an unequal distribution of                  widens the gap between such cities and the
human settlements. At a policy formulation               rural areas.
or implementation level, it is a headache for
the sub-region’s town development planners.
When urban growth occurs in developed                    The sub-region’s largest city, Lagos, currently
countries, it usually drives or follows socio-           has over 9 million inhabitants, but the figure
economic development. In West Africa the                 has variously been estimated at between 9 to 14
chaotic expansion of urban spaces actually               million inhabitants. It is projected that by 2020,
disables the capacity of national governments
                                                         Africa will have 11 mega cities each with more
and local authorities to provide urban security
and to supply basic social infrastructure –              than 5 million inhabitants and more than 3000
health, education, water, and sewage disposal            urban centers with populations in excess of
facilities. As a result, slums or shanty towns           20,000 (an increase of about 300% since 1990).
grow, overcome and swallow the already                   A larger part of the urban population will
crumbling infrastructures of the urban
                                                         live in large cities. While in 1960 less than 4%
nucleus. As is the case in sub-Saharan Africa,
West Africa’s human settlement pattern is                of urban dwellers lived in cities of over one
characterized either by rural areas marked by            million inhabitants, this proportion increased
depopulated villages or urban areas dominated            to more than 20% in 1990 and would be close
by large, overcrowded cities, the latter often           to 37% in 2020.12
surrounded by slums. Populations tend to

                       Business as usual: the reality of rapidly urbanizing West Africa

Rural-Urban Migrations and Natural Increases
in Population
Rural-urban migration (rural-urban exodus) has      West Africa shows that for more than a third of
accelerated in West Africa since independence       migrants (31.4%) “Employment Opportunity”
in the 1960s. It has contributed immensely to       is cited as the number one reason for migration;
the localized growth of populations, especially     social reasons --“Weddings”, “Divorces” or
to the urbanization of the sub-region’s cities.     “Widowhood” (25.3%), “School” or “Family
Its causes combine both ‘push’ and ‘pull’           Reunion” (around 12%) and “Study”-- account
factors ranging from historical, through            for the rest.14
climactic changes, environmental degradation,
demographic pressure to politics, conflicts          However, migrations from rural to urban areas
and socio-economic considerations. It has a         also occur from a combination of factors that
security dimension (natural disasters, threats to   are not only economic and social but also
individual or group safety, conflicts about scarce   include historical elements. Urban centers
land and resources) as well as an economic          historically served as administrative hubs and
dimension (poor economic conditions and lack        conduits for exportation. They received most
of employment opportunity). According to the        of the infrastructural investments –electricity,
Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought          drinking water, health centers-, and public
Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the number one        sector employment opportunities.15 Current
cause for this type of population movement in       trends in rural-urban migration in West Africa
West Africa is economic.13                          revealed a slow down in the process:

The hub of a country’s socio-economic activity      (i) A strong urban population growth resulting
is normally located where there is a market i.e.    from rural-urban migration, from 1950 to mid
where there is a nascent or vibrant economy.        1980. According to a 1988 report, the majority
The major concentrations of populations are         of governments of developing countries
also there. As was the case with developed          considered rural-urban migration to be the
economies, the vibrant job-market or                main reason for growth in their urban areas.16
commercial centers in the developing context        However, since the late 1980s, there has been
of West Africa are urban-oriented and this          a slower urban population growth resulting
socio-economic pull factor in urban areas exerts    directly from rural-urban migration; there is
a strong influence on potential rural-urban          actually an inversion of trends in some cases.17
migrants, ultimately leading them to the cities.
However, there are factors other than the desire
for a better life. A survey carried out by the
Network of Migrations and Urbanizations in

                                           URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 17
                                                      population growth is due to a natural increase
Urban-rural movements were observed not
                                                      in population.24 Most rural migrants are young
only among retired people but also among              men and women aged 15 to 34. They are clearly
youth. Disillusionment with urban conditions          in their most reproductive ages. Moreover, they
– high cost of living, declining business             originate from rural areas where fertility rates
fortunes, reduction of formal sector job              are normally higher. When rural migrants
                                                      come into town, they may find their own
opportunities and loss of work, congestion as
                                                      accommodation or move into accommodation
well as structural adjustment programs in the         provided by already-settled family relations.
1980s-, all plays a part in this reverse trend.17     Most of them settle down and have a family.
                                                      They may eventually move to the outskirts to
(ii) Capital cities are the preferred urban           homes they have rented, bought or built. Others
destinations for migrants from rural areas.19 In      may also move, perhaps to the city’s informal
addition, it has been observed that urbanization      settlements or slums, hoping to succeed
is not entirely a direct consequence of the           eventually and move out again. This second
overpopulation of rural areas.20 Furthermore,         trend could actually contradict the assumption
the bulk of rural-urban migrants is made up of        that urban slums are populated only by newly
young men21 (aged between 15-34), but general         arrived rural migrants.
trends seem to show that the number of young
women and ages of migrants are increasing;            There is also the increasing contribution of
                                                      returning migrants (from the African continent,
(iii) There is a link between economic                Western Europe and North America) to rapid
conditions (such as unemployment) and                 urbanization in their own countries or in other
rural-urban migrations. Economic migrants             countries in the sub-region. They return to invest
are less likely to be unemployed22 because they       back home, mostly in urban ////FOR RETURN
are ready to do any type of work in the cities – if   OF FUNDS rather than rural areas, through
they can find it. There are constant interactions      remittances, commercial activity and residential
and mobility between the cities and rural areas;      or commercial property. In Dakar, areas located
especially in the case of those who commute,          at the periphery (Grand Dakar, Grand Yoff)
rather than migrate, for social reasons (weddings     attracted the investments of the first generation
and funerals) rather than for residence and           of Senegalese emigrants to France. “Emigrants
employment. Such frequent exchanges enable            invest in housing units and progressively add
rural residents to know more about the towns          floors in order to rent more rooms. In doing this
and may even increase their desire to move in         they become the main actors of the densification
eventually.                                           of those areas.”25

Rural-urban migration may no longer be the            Recommendation        1:    Regenerate      rural
dominant factor behind West Africa’s rapid urban      environment to reduce rural-urban exodus.
growth. According to a 2003 study on migration        Ministries of rural development, agriculture
and urbanization in Francophone West Africa,          and the environment should pursue a
“…two-thirds of urban growth in West Africa was       regeneration agenda for West Africa’s rural
due to migration and reclassification in the 1960s,    lands (including rural-urban electrification,
and only one-third in the 1990s.”23 Though rural-     road network construction and maintenance,
urban migration may have played a major part          water and sanitation amenities). The UNEP
in urbanization over the first three decades of        and FAO should offer enhanced support to this
independence since the 1960s, from the 1990s          regeneration agenda to preserve rural lands
onwards over half (59%) of West African urban         for pastoral agriculture, especially in the Sahel

Recommendation 2: Implement better strategies        from donors, development partners and
for rural – urban linkages. National policy          international agencies should strengthen
planners and development practitioners should        existing or already established national
better understand rural – urban linkages and         population policy frameworks like the one in
the role of emerging rural non-farm economies        Niger.26 Such a population policy framework
as motors for growth and poverty alleviation.        should give prominence to cultural education,
International agencies such as FAO should            feminine empowerment and family planning
encourage national authorities to ensure that        programs.
rural agriculture development programs aim
at inserting the rural poor in the overall market    Sahelan states need their herders’contributions
economy, especially as the latter is becoming
                                                     to their economy since livestock farming
increasingly more complex and diverse.
                                                     remains a more viable source of employment
Recommendation 3: Manage demographic                 and sustenance for rural inhabitants of the
transition through the empowerment of                arid and semi-arid Sahel.
women. To help manage West Africa’s higher-
than-average population growth rate, national
family planning sectors, ministries of health,       Recommendation 4: Address the youth
family affairs and women’s’ interest groups,         bulge factor. National rural development
working with financial and technical support          and employment policy planners, with

                                           Ansu Konneh @ IRIN
   Dreaming of jobs in Sierra Leone: sometimes unemployed youth find work pushing carts for merchants

                                            URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 19
international support donor including
microfinance groups as well as international
entities (ILO, UNIDO, ECOWAS), should
intensify rural-centered programs to generate
all-year-round employment in the non-
agricultural sector.28 West Africa’s rural youth
should be engaged as active partners in order to
create a disincentive for rural-urban migration
since youth unemployment, especially in rural
areas, has an effect on rural-urban migration
patterns.29 Local manufacturing or enterprises,
trade, transport, tourism and general service
industries should be helped to elaborate
national action plans on employment and
allocate budgets to the establishment of trade
or vocational schools.

In spite of national socio-cultural differences,
policy planners should work towards a
concerted sub-regional strategy to manage the
sub-region’s high fertility rates – by means of
political dialogue, persuasive advocacy and a
non-interventionist approach which leave the
ultimate free choice of method to families and
individuals, so long as this option is explored
within a benevolent context of respect for
family and individual reproductive rights.27

Urbanization and Environmental Degradation

The effects of rapid urbanization on                  for targeted spaces and a continuing decline
environmental sustainability are seen as the          in rural agricultural production. If no positive
main concern by environmental groups.                 action is taken, human insecurity will increase.
Overcrowded, environmentally stressed mega-           The sub-region has vegetation zones that house
cities are the new destination of the world’s         West Africa’s large species of fauna. While
poor: “[by] 2015, there will be 33 mega-cities, 27    these vegetation groups are renewable, their
of them in the developing world. Although cities      availability over the years has been severely
themselves occupy only two per cent of the world’s    restricted not only by expected ecologically-
land, they have a major environmental impact on       engineered factors but more significantly by
a much wider area. London, for example, requires      naturally and increasingly man-made disasters.
roughly 60 times its own area to supply its nine      Those are arising out of tensions from the
million inhabitants with food and forest products.    pressure of populations and their competing
Mega-cities are likely to be a drain on the Earth’s   interests –as exemplified in the farmer-herder-
dwindling resources, while contributing mightily      hunter competitions for farming, pasture or
to environmental degradation themselves”.30           hunting space-, seen in the Sahel zone.31

A. Scarcity of viable land.                           The effects of urbanization are not only felt
                                                      through agricultural practices, but also through
West Africa’s rural and urban areas are facing a      mining exploitation as well as deforestation
decreasing economic and agricultural carrying         from timber processing. Urbanization as a
capacity. In this context, the resources and          result of the administrative re-classification of
the use of the land, including water, become          previously rural areas, when state authorities
a crucial factor in sustainability. Agriculture,      grant concessions for mining or timber-
pasture, fishing and hunting have to compete           processing industries, has tended to attract
with the need for land in mining exploitation,        populations seeking employment. Railways
construction and other infrastructural                and roads, constructed to facilitate mining
development. Rapidly urbanizing areas have
the administrative centers as well as the most        While West Africa’s rapidly urbanizing centers
industrial and commercial activity but they
                                                      may wait for food production from the rural
depend on rural areas for food sustenance.
Unfortunately, land use in West Africa is hostage     areas, a number of farmers, herders and
to climatic conditions, with the overabundance        hunters cannot deliver due to inter-vocational
or the lack of rainfall determining the type and      or inter-ethnic conflicts over depleting land
organization of land exploitation. Agricultural       resources.
production is unreliable. With rapid
urbanization, there is increased competition

                                             URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 21
and timber exploitation, attract farmer and           As shown in Table 2 decline in the sub-region’s
hunter populations. Over the years there has          food production levels has not stopped since
been an intensity of land use, resulting in the       1980. This has led to an increase in the price of
depletion of forest land in the southern parts        food products and commodities, especially in
and of pasture lands in the Sahel zones. Forced       urban areas. Since they are mostly dependent
population movements such as the flow of               on food production from rural areas or
refugees and internally displaced persons             otherwise from expensive imports, urban
also have an impact on the environment.               populations have been severely affected by
The decades-long civil wars in Sierra Leone           low rural productions and their high prices.
and Liberia resulted in the sudden influx of           Some governments in the sub-region have
affected rural populations into urban areas           had to import large amounts of food or at
and simultaneously into the urban centers of          times accept international food aid in order
neighboring Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Ghana,          to offset the weak national production levels.
thereby contributing to higher numbers of             From 2004 to 2006, the WFP channeled nearly
urban populations and incapacitating ongoing          400 million USD worth of food aid to the
urban planning policies.                              most vulnerable populations in West Africa.
                                                      Furthermore, the precarious food situation
B. Food insecurity.                                   and the absence of agricultural employment
                                                      opportunities in the rural areas have resulted
With the pressure of population on                    in an exodus mostly of youth from the rural
the environment, there is a decline in                areas to the urban centers, with the aim of
both subsistence and export agriculture.              obtaining employment remuneration in
Consequently, parts of the sub-region face            order to support their dependant relations left
constant difficulty in feeding their populations       behind. The urban centers, with most of the
adequately, including the high urban                  original population already affected by high
populations increasingly dependent for food           food prices and a low standard of living, do not
on rural agriculture. In 2005, it was estimated       have unlimited capacity to contain the influx
that about 3.7 million people were in need of         from the rural areas. The potential for tension
various degrees of assistance in Niger, Mali and      and conflict over space and opportunities
Mauritania alone, owing largely to the lack of        becomes widespread.
access to enough and sufficiently nutritious
food. In Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and
Niger, malnutrition is implicated in over half of
all child deaths: an estimate of 280,000 children
would not die each year if it were not for
malnutrition.32 Over a period of twenty-three
years, Gambia, Liberia, Niger and Sierra Leone
registered a decrease of as much as 40% in the
availability of food resources.33 The Permanent
Inter-state Committee on Drought Control
in the Sahel (CILSS) regularly forecasts a
deficit in grain production in the Sahel region,
although a more positive outcome regarding
the general food security situation has been
projected recently.34

Table 2. West Africa: food production index per inhabitant
(1980-2003) (1999/01=100)
 Country              1980     1985     1990        1995        1999     2000     2001     2002     2003

 Benin                69.2     76.1     79.4        86.7        96.3     101.7    99.6     103.9    99.0
 Burkina FS           68.7     87.1     79.8        96.2        101.1    85.3     110.5    105.9    108.6
 Cap Verde            63.1     57.1     87.3        87.0        106.1    96.8     94.9     87.6     87.5
 Côte d’Ivoi.         95.1     92.0     90.8        95.5        98.6     102.2    97.5     93.1     91.8
 Gambia               102.0    106.4    84.2        73.5        90.2     100.7    106.2    61.6     65.5
 Ghana                69.5     68.6     59.6        89.7        98.2     99.2     100.4    108.6    107.6
 Guinea               108.9    93.8     89.4        94.3        98.7     98.1     101.6    104.0    103.6
 Guinea BS            80.6     94.0     99.4        92.2        96.0     100.5    100.7    95.4     93.6
 Liberia              141.6    138.8    120.9       94.8        97.0     102.3    94.9     87.0     84.8

 Mali                 98.4     95.4     98.1        99.0        104.7    94.4     98.0     93.7     96.3
 Niger                134.4    89.0     100.0       92.8        100.2    91.9     104.2    102.4    99.3
 Nigeria              65.0     66.0     82.2        97.8        100.0    100.3    97.0     97.5     97.0
 Sénégal              75.4     95.1     92.0        97.6        103.3    101.3    93.0     68.9     86.0
 Sierra LN            140.8    133.2    132.6       120.5       102.4    94.4     100.1    100.3    96.6
 Togo                 110.4    98.7     101.5       100.3       105.6    97.6     93.8     98.2     96.2

Source: United Nations – Statistical Journal for Africa, 2004, Volume 1, Part 2 West Africa

C. Pollution and environmental                             In overcrowded Lagos heavy traffic and diesel
health.                                                    generators are adding to the smog in the
                                                           skyline.37 The city’s water supply, sanitation and
To help national governments address                       waste disposal has become a nightmare: “The
the problem, environmental groups and                      fresh water supply is often contaminated with
international organizations35 provide updates              human waste, as only half the population has
on environmental impacts caused by rapid,                  toilets. Water-challenged citizens have a choice
chaotic and unmanaged urbanization. As West                of buying high-priced water or stealing it from
Africa’s cities become overcrowded through                 a neighbor’s wells. Flooding is a major problem,
rapid urbanization, the resulting pollution                [….], and it is partially caused by similar
of the urban environment is contributing                   problems: unplanned buildings block natural
to emerging environmental disasters, health                watercourses. Solid waste in Lagos is disposed of
problems and lack of human security.                       haphazardly, often in illegal dumps”.38

Heavy traffic and emissions including                       Urbanized West Africa may pursue
pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrous or                    socio-economic       development       through
sulphur oxides) are the cause for respiratory              industrialization, but there is a price to pay.
problems, heavy noise pollution, road                      With the increase in industrial activity come
accidents, stressful journeys as well as other             increasing consumption of energy and the
nuisances for long-suffering urban dwellers.               unregulated production of residual waste and
Life-threatening air pollution affects millions of         pollution. With no interest in or facilities for
children living in urbanized areas in developing           disposal, solid waste both from industries
countries, with the exposure being more than               and residential households are being dumped
8 times the acceptable WHO guidelines.36                   illegally. This is stretching the coping

                                               URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 23
mechanisms of urban environment and health            other urban spaces, control of communicable
administrations since there are other effluents        diseases as well as port and harbor
through faulty or leaking drainage systems.           administration, safety and health issues.
The life and health of urban dwellers are             (2) Donor programs should award economic
threatened by food and other contamination            incentives and tax breaks to manufacturing,
as well as communicable diseases – cholera,           motor transport industry and other
malaria, and diarrhea among others. In the            commercial entities that take into account
struggle to produce food for urban populations,       pro-environmental        policies.    National
the use of pesticides and fertilizers containing      ministries of the environment, energy and
                                                      industry should be supported in the adoption
Heavy traffic congestions, industrial and              of recycling policies as well as proper waste
residential emissions, generator power-               disposal management methods. They should
plant, domestic fuel wood and coal fire                also be supported in improving the energy
emissions, crude dumping of solid waste               consumption patterns of industry and urban
and improper landfills, sewer, septic or fuel          households.
tank leakages and water effluents as well as           (3) At a sub-regional level, ECOWAS should
pesticides and fertilizers have all contributed       establish a database unit, with trained
to the degradation of environmental health in         personnel, for the assessment and monitoring
already overcrowded cities.                           of the physical, biological and social
                                                      consequences of environmental degradation
ammonium products and nitrates may                    that could also help in public education and
increase agricultural yield, but is costly to the     the formulation of policy.
environment as it alters the quality of ground
and surface water, thereby affecting the food
chain and ecosystem.

Recommendation 5: Address food insecurity
by reinforcing sub-regional and international
cooperation.       International      assistance
should help national governments to boost
agricultural land regeneration and agricultural
production through improvements in science
and technology, as well as enhancement of
productivity. Sub-regional system of forecasts,
monitoring and early warnings regarding food
insecurity and natural disasters should be
established and linked to a wider international
level of information gathering.

Recommendation 6: Address environmental
issues including:
(1) Environmental protection policies should
include environmental health programs that
envisage proper control of water supply and
administration; environmental protection in
terms of air, water, land pollution and solid                          Tiggy Ridley @IRIN
waste management, food safety and hygiene,               Leaping over a river of rubbish: more than 6,000
                                                          people live in the Freetown slum of Kroo Bay
insects and rodents control in residential and

Intra-Regional Migration and Urbanization

Migration-driven urbanization in West Africa      to the late 1980s. The international character
is a result of population moving not only         and impact of migration continue to be felt
within the national borders but also outside      in terms of tensions in the socio-political
national confines within the sub-region. This      relations between native urban populations
is a trend encouraged by socio-cultural links     and immigrant urban settlers, such as could
as well as the ECOWAS protocol on the free        be argued in the case of Ivory Coast.
movement of persons and goods. West African
migration has attained a wider international      A. Migrating into instability and
character, marked by movements from the           conflict.
sub-region to within the African continent
and beyond. According to a report by the          As shown in Box 2 above, international
Economic Commission for Africa dated              migrations of West Africa’s population
September 2006, most migration across             present some positive aspects (socio-
borders within Africa has an international        economic       development,       employment
rural to urban as well as urban to urban          opportunities,      remittances    and      the
character and contributes to urbanization         increasing economic independence of
– job-seeking Ghanaian migrants to Nigeria        migrant women)40. However, there is also a
in the 1980s, Burkinabese, Malians and            link between population movements and
Nigeriens to Ivory Coast since independence       security issues in both “source countries” and

     Box 2. Current trends in West African migration

     (i)    Clandestine migrations are sustained by poverty, human deprivation and the
     deterioration of the well being of the vast majority. A greater part of this unfortunate
     phenomenon relates to attempts by the sub-region’s youth to get into Western Europe,
     risking life and limb by crossing the Sahara on foot, by making perilous sea journeys by
     canoe or as stowaways on aircraft undercarriages. Most are victims of illegal trafficking

     (ii) Intensification in rural to urban migration – landless farm labourers abandon
     rural areas in search of wage labour in urban areas; this complicates labour migration
     within rural and especially urban areas;

     (iii) Environmentally displaced internal and external migrations (mostly north
     towards south) owing to desertification, drought and famine;

                                         URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 25
      (iv) Migration owing to economic decline within national territories – declining
      real incomes and retrenchment over the years of public sector workers (such as
      occurred in recent history in Senegal, Togo, Sierra Leone and Guinea);

      (v)     Female migration. In recent times, owing to the ‘feminization’ of poverty,
      there is an increased migration of female migrants, who used to be traditionally left
      behind by male migrants, into labor-market areas-;

      (vi) Continued pressure to migrate caused within national frontiers by
      environmental degradation, mismanaged economies and recent increases in civil
      conflicts – migration here is to relatively prosperous or peaceful non-conflict areas:
      refugees and Internally Displaced Persons-.

            Source: Adepoju, Aderanti. Fostering Free Movement of Persons in West Africa:
         Achievements, Pitfalls ad Prospects for Intra-regional Migration (adapted for Box)

“destination countries”. The introduction            plantations, ultimately helping to turn the
of people from one culture to another                country into the largest producer of cocoa.
often tends to generate suspicion, fear and          Migrants to Ivory Coast took along their
even downright xenophobia. International             families, married cross-culturally, settled and
migration both facilitates and constrains the        were allowed to vote. By 1995, there were 4
realization of the Millennium Development            million immigrants out of a population of
Goals, in addition to contributing to a              14 million.42 Owing to over three decades of
steady increase in female migrants – and             immigration, and despite the displacements
at a rate that has been faster than the              and outward movements of populations
global average. “By 2005, 47 per cent of the         since the early 1990s, Ivory Coast still hosts
17 million immigrants from Africa were               the largest number of international migrants
women – up from 42 per cent in 1960 – with           (currently 2.6 million or 15% of the national
the greatest increases among migrants in the         population).
Eastern and Western regions.”41
                                                     International urbanization flows (cross-
B. Case Study:                                       border rural-urban and urban-urban flow)
Ivory Coast’s civil strife.                          brought unemployed and even employed
                                                     migrants from landlocked countries (Burkina
After independence in 1960, Ivory Coast
                                                     Faso, Mali, Niger) moving to seek employment
became the preferred destination for West
African migrants. The country witnessed              in the urban areas of more prosperous coastal
inward mass movements and migrations                 countries such as Ivory Coast.44
from Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea and Niger.
These northern neighbors had semi-arid
regions, with slow-paced development                 This figure was almost double during the
indicators, compared to the burgeoning               decades before the full outbreak of civil
economy and infrastructure of Ivory Coast.           conflict in 2002: 21.1% in 1975; 27.3% in
This produced southward migrations.                  1988; 25.3% in 1993, and 25.6% in 1998
At the time needed, and actually encouraged,         were immigrants from the West Africa sub-
a large influx of neighboring farm hands              region. Non-West African migrants made up
came to work the cocoa and coffee                    less than 1% over the same period.43

Abidjan has always been a good example               civil strife, urbanization rate - currently the
of international rural-urban and urban-              lowest in the sub-region- may be stalling.
urban urbanization. It has a cosmopolitan            Inward migration has slowed down and
character - hence the attraction – not only          birth rates -also currently the lowest in the
from regions within the country itself, but          sub-region- are stymied by the climate of
also from neighboring countries. For every           insecurity, but both will be expected to rise
ten residents in the suburbs of Abidjan,             when the crisis is over.
four originate from Ivory Coast while the
rest is from Burkina Faso (20%), Mali (9%),          Recommendation 7: Devise a common
Ghana (9%), with Togo and Benin (12%).45             policy of managed migration. National
Furthermore, a 2003 study conducted by               governments should implement ECOWAS
the Network of Surveys on Migration and              protocol on the free movement of persons
Urbanization in West Africa concluded that           and goods, especially as migrations,
three-quarters of the annual urban growth            development and stability go hand in
in Abidjan in the early 1990s was due to             hand. With financing and support from
international immigration.46 Even when               UNFPA, ILO, IOM, UNIFEM, UNHCR,
encouraged, Ivory Coast’s population growth          and OHCHR, national development policy
and rapid urbanization through migration             planners and immigration administrations
could not continue without putting pressure          should encourage commitments to large-
on land space and resources. The death of            scale investments in economic growth and
Felix Houphouet-Boigny in 1993 signaled              poverty reduction. Consultations should be
the start of political instability and, together     undertaken in a proxy of member states, with
with the economic recession of the 1990s             ECOWAS as a supporting mechanism, for
following the fall in the world prices of the        formulating sound intra-regional migration
principal export product cocoa, provoked             policies including migrant integration
high levels of frustration nationwide.               programs to the sub-region’s stability. As
                                                     women migrants are most vulnerable to
Ownership of land resources as well as land          human rights abuses, focus must also be put
rights suddenly became a bone of contention;         on a gender-sensitive policy.
nationality and citizenship identity were the
sources of social tension. The harmful concept       Recommendation 8: Strengthen national
of “Ivority” was given official prominence by         and sub-regional databases. In order to be
nationalist politicians during a conference          better prepared to address migration and
speech in Abidjan in March 1996. Through             urbanization, national offices of statistics
it, any doubts about the overriding role of          should be charged with research and data
international migration in the country’s             collection regarding migratory flows as
ongoing climate of socio-political instability       well as the contribution of migration and
was dispelled: “Several factors can be shown         remittances. National offices of statistics
to justify the disquiet of Ivorians. First of all,   should coordinate this data collection
the large numbers of foreigners in Ivory Coast       exercise, with the support of ECOWAS, for
[…] added to a high rate of immigration and          the preparation of a future sub-regional
a high birth rate […]. Foreigners occupy a           database. Coordination should also be
dominant and sometimes overwhelming place            encouraged with the statistics offices of the
in the Ivorian economy. This foreign presence        main destination countries for West African
therefore threatens to destroy the socio-            migrants like EUROSTAT. International
economic balance of the country. [….] Ivority’       NGOs and others working to address
is, we believe, a requirement of sovereignty,        migration issues – IOM, Migrants Rights
identity, creativity”.47 Owing to the ongoing        International, The Platform for International

                                            URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 27
     Flying the flag of international migration: Ghanaian residents in Abidjan celebrate a sports victory

Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants                     role back home. National policy planners
(PICUM) - should be engaged in data                      should formulate gender-sensitive policies
collection at a sub-regional level.                      that can help develop female contribution
                                                         (micro-finance, small enterprise and other
Recommendation 9: Harness the “social                    investment incentives, including tax-breaks,
remittances” of migrants. To ensure the                  for overseas diaspora associations and other
backward inflow of “social remittances” by                social networks). The engagement of active
way of ideas, skills, attitudes and knowledge            women migrant associations should bring
acquired either by migration within the                  more representation in political groups or
ECOWAS sub-region or beyond, special                     help finance adult education programs.
focus should be given to migrant women

Fast Urbanization and Criminality

Nowhere in West Africa is the link between           environmental overload and degradation,
demographic pressure, poverty and instability        resource scarcity and conflict in the rural areas.”51
more pronounced than in the large urban areas        If no action is taken, the sub-region’s rapidly
and their peripheral slum pockets. “Under-           urbanizing cities could become slums of
developed environments with high population          despair rather than magnets of hope.
densities and their inherently higher intensity of
direct competition for resources generally appear    A. Urbanization, poverty and slum
to generate extreme levels of instability. […].      conditions.
Sporadic ethnic violence affects more African
cities in shorter intervals, with Nigeria’s most     Urban poverty is more pronounced in urban
populous city, Lagos, having been ravaged by         slums, also called “poor informal settlements”
increasing sporadic outbreaks of violence.”48        or “squatter settlements”. Slums are becoming
                                                     the norm in West Africa’s cities. The Fourth
As with the rest of Africa, West Africa’s rapid      African Cities Summit held in Nairobi in 2006
urbanization is occurring in a context of
slums and poverty. Although perceived as             By 2025, the majority of the poor in Africa
a major factor for prosperity, urbanization          will be living in urban as opposed to rural
has not contributed - through economies              areas. The political and socio-economic
of scale and value-added production chains           manifestations of urban poverty (such as
- to overall growth in GDP.49 The absence
                                                     instability, crime, sporadic violence and
of real urban-centered policies addressing
economic growth and poverty reduction are at         spread of disease) are likely to be much more
fault since the fast track of urban growth has       costly than those of rural poverty.
not been “associated with the commensurate
growth and effective redistributive measures         revealed that a staggering 72% of Africa’s urban
required to alleviate poverty.”50 Furthermore,       population lives in slums. Slum conditions or
West Africa’s rapid urbanization occurs              slum households are defined as lacking: access to
with no industrial growth to support it.             improved water, access to improved sanitation
“The cities [in Africa] are not in any process of    facilities, sufficient living area (meaning having
infrastructural expansion, but in fact, are often    less than three people per habitable room),
imploding due to infrastructural overload.           a durable dwelling (meaning non-hazardous
This type of urbanisation is therefore not taking    locations, permanent structures adequate to
place due to any ‘pull’ factors of development       protect from climatic extremes) and lacking
in the cities, but due to the ‘push’ factors of      security of tenure. Sadly, these are the prevailing

                                            URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 29
features in the slums found in West Africa’s          B. Case Study: Nigeria’s urban
urban areas. Commenting specifically on slums          conflict.
in Abidjan, UN-Habitat stated: “the residents of
the slum areas live in marginal conditions due to     In 1994, a renowned writer and essayist
labour and housing insecurity. Moreover, they are     predicted that Africa faces a crisis caused by
stigmatized by the rest of the urban population,      overpopulation and urbanization: “Given that
and policies taken to improve slums and alleviate     oil-rich Nigeria is a bellwether for the region-
poverty remain uncoordinated”.52                      its population [….] equals the population of
                                                      all the other West Africa states combined – it is
Poverty, deprivation, crime, violence and             apparent that Africa faces cataclysms that could
general human insecurity will become more             make Ethiopian and Somalian famines pale in
prevalent in West Africa’s cities; especially         comparison. This is especially true of Nigeria’s
since these problems are linked to the erosion        population, including of its largest city, Lagos,
of institutional and social capital, or to the        whose crime, pollution, and overcrowding make
lack of opportunities in over-populated and           it the cliché par excellence of Third World urban
peripheral slum areas.53 Dwellers often face          dysfunction; it is set to double during the next
conditions of urban squalor in shanty towns           twenty-five years, while the country continues to
that are much the same as those left behind.          deplete its natural resources”.55 With a surface
“Over-population on its own can already stretch       area of 923,768 square kilometers and annual
the limited natural resources, but in combination     population growth rate of over 2%, Nigeria’s
with underdevelopment and equally limited             current population stands at 134.4 million
financial resources and skills, such problems can      inhabitants – a conservative figure by certain
become almost insurmountable and tie countries        accounts-, which gives a very high density
down in vicious cycles of poverty and violence.”54    of 145 inhabitants to the square kilometer.

     Box 3: Some indicators of the slum conditions affecting sub-Saharan Africa

     (i)    In 2007, the world’s urban population is expected to exceed the world’s rural
     population. In most of the developing world, urbanization will result in bigger slum
     populations. In sub-Saharan Africa, the most rapidly urbanizing region in the world,
     the annual urban growth and slum growth rates are almost identical, 4.58% and 4.53%

     (ii) In 2001, 166.2 million people, 72% of sub-Saharan Africa’s urban population,
     were living in slums. In 2015, the urban slum population is likely to reach 332 million.
     During the next 25 years, roughly 400 million people will be added to the continent’s
     urban population, putting tremendous pressure on cities. This projection is based
     on several demographic estimations that do not take into account the undetermined
     impacts of HIV/AIDS and human-made disasters on population growth and slum
     formation, particularly in cities.

     (iii) In 2001, more than 90% of West African urban population was living in slums;
     Sierra Leone (96%) came first followed by Guinea Bissau (93%), Niger (96%), Mali
     (93%) and Mauritania (94%).

     (iv) Aside of general poverty conditions in West Africa, the lack of improved
     sanitation is the most important feature of the sub-region (as is generally the case for
     the rest of the African continent). In sub-Saharan Africa, about 45% of people living
     in urban areas had no access to improved sanitation in 2003.

     (v)    In some West African countries, this figure exceeds 80% of the urban population,
     especially in Niger (88%), Sierra Leone (82%) and Mali (81%)

     (vi) The two other factors are the lack of improved water supply that affects
     about one fifth of urban sub-Saharan Africa, and the lack of sufficient living space
     (overcrowding) that widely varies from country to country.

                                                      Source: UN-Habitat (Emphasis above ours)

Lagos, its largest city, has a population of over      Nigeria has the highest urban population and
9 million and is expected to grow into the third       more large cities than in any other country;
largest city on earth by 2015.56 Even in a context     (iii) Indigenous populations control the
of ethnic or religious rivalries and lack of           centers, but migrants from other regions
deliveries by the federal and local authorities,       encroach in shantytowns and protected
socio-economic deprivation caused by                   neighborhoods. Lagos has teeming central
demographic pressure on available resources            market areas, filth that results from inadequate
plays the larger part: forty-eight per cent of         housing and public services, destitution and
Nigeria’s total population lives in urban centers      fear of crime and violence;
and their large peripheral slums.                      (iv) Criminal violence has become the urban
                                                       substitute for insurgency. Large populations
An oil-rich country with a great part of its           live in overcrowded urban spaces, added to
population – especially the urban poor-,               by continuing migrations and population
remaining in poverty knows no lasting peace            growth. All with socio-economic inequality,
and stability: “Of the twenty-four countries           deprivation, social disorganization, inadequate
in the world that have more than one-third of          government service as well as dysfunctional law
their exports in fuels […..], Nigeria is the second    enforcement willing, at best, to impose their
(next to Angola) poorest, in terms of GD per           authoritarian strength and, at worst, corrupt to
capita. Poverty next to oil exporting is a double-     the core;
whammy in making a country susceptible to              (v) Crime rates are high and rising. Crimes
civil war.”57 The main causes for this climate of      against property (thefts, robberies, burglaries)
instability are:                                       make up half of the total crime pool, with
(i) Nigeria witnessed rapid urbanization               assaults and other crimes against the person also
since the oil boom of the 1970s.                       featuring prominently.58 Communal violence
There were improvements in transportation              and associated criminal violence, especially in
and mobility. The country registered the fastest       the urban areas, is often reported in the local,
rate of urbanization in the world, but it did not      national and international press.59
translate into a better life for its population.
(ii) By 1986 Nigeria had an estimated urban            Recommendation 10: Address rural and urban
growth rate of 6% (more than twice that of             poverty through national and integrated regional
the rural population) with the percentage of           strategies – including awareness campaigns.
people living in urban areas estimated to have         National policy planners should address more
grown from 16% to 20%. By 2010, more than              vigorously the issue of livelihoods of outer
40% of the population was expected to live             urban centers and the urban poor in general,
in the urban centers, whereas this figure was           thus going beyond traditional approaches that
already 48% by 2006. In sub-Saharan Africa,            have tended to concentrate on improvement of

                                             URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 31
    Urban rush to scoop petrol in Lagos: playing with fire in the competition for resources in West Africa?

housing,      infrastructure   and    physical           connected to basic infrastructure, especially
environment. To be efficient, “slums” policies            water and sanitation, electricity, access roads,
require the public sector to be more inclusive           and waste management. A good example such
in its urban policies and to be much more                as the 1998 UN Secretary-General’s initiative
accountable for the supply of urban public               which established the Commonwealth
goods to all.                                            Consultative Group on Human Settlements
                                                         (CCGHS) should be encouraged.
Recommendation 11: Provide for essential
basic amenities. National ministries of town             Recommendation 12: Provide security.
country planning and of roads and highways               To prevent urban criminality or its increase,
should tackle urban issues through a concerted           control activities over urban areas should
effort to provide infrastructure and essential           encourage development, not as a repressive
basic amenities. For urban slums to be                   approach but as an educational process.
environmentally habitable, they should be

Conclusion by Way of a Recommendation

In seeking to raise awareness on the security          UNOWA         hopes    that     the    proposed
implications of rapid urbanization, UNOWA,             recommendations will be pursued by national
with the collaboration of its partners, is fulfilling   government policy planners, with the support
its mandate to help enhance the contribution           of development partners, sub-regional
of the United Nations to peace and security            bodies, international organs and civil society.
issues in West Africa. The destabilizing impact        For example, Ghana’s case study below is
of unmanaged or unmanageable urbanization              calling on national governments to pursue or,
is affecting the sub-region’s peace and security.      if already pursuing, to intensify and improve
If not properly addressed, it has potential to         their policies of decentralization. As spelt out
cause lasting instability.                             in the October 2005 Yaoundé Declaration,

     Box 4. Aspects of decentralization policies based on Ghana’s case:

     (i)     The withdrawal of the state from several sectors of the economy, a process
     described as “rolling back the state”; characterized by central government cutbacks
     on expenditure, transfer of productive sectors of the national economy to private
     initiatives and a process of budgetary decentralization aimed at easing pressure on
     scarce central government resources, in place of delegated powers to local regional
     authorities to raise revenue for regional and rural development;

     (ii) The withdrawal of subsidies which had hitherto benefited urban populations;
     the result is a reduction of the mainly urban-based formal sectors of the economy;
     appreciable resulting improvement in rural income as price controls have been
     removed and the consequent attendant growth of human settlements which were
     previously rural;

     (iii) An alternative development approach, based on a focus on poverty reduction, basic
     needs approach, participation and sustainability, a focus which has opened up possibilities
     for developing small towns and medium-sized urban centers into engines of growth.

     Source: Owusu, George. “Small Towns in Ghana: Justification for their Promotion
     under Ghana’s Decentralization Program”, African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 8, Issue 2,
     Spring 2005, p. 52

                                              URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 33
African national governments are urged to             1984 to 2000. Whereas Ghana’s numerous
“undertake concerted and coordinated action           district capitals (5,000-50,000 inhabitants)
to place decentralization and local development       which are spread over the ten administrative
at the centre of governance and development           regions, have grown at 2.4% from 1970 to 1984
policies”.                                            and at 3% from 1984 to 2000. These district
                                                      capitals have been the main beneficiaries of
As shown in Table 3 below, Ghana’s large cities       the decentralization program, aimed at the
(over 300,000 inhabitants) and medium-sized           development of small towns and medium-
towns (50,000-300,000 inhabitants) have grown         sized urban centers.
at 3% from 1970 to 1984 and at 4.3% from

Table 3. Distribution of urban sizes in Ghana (1970-2000)

 Category                  1970                       1984                      2000

                           No.           population   No.          population   No.            population
 Over 1 million            0                     0    0                    0    2              2,829,207
 500,000-1 million         1                624,091   1              969,195    0                      0
 100,000-500,000           2               490,319    3              793,783    4              1,147,963
 50,000-100,000            2                140,254   4              276,981    8                544,163
 20,000-50,000             13              369,848    19              529,266   38             1,127,988
 5,000-20,000              101             844,227    155           1,338,651   298            2,680,923

 Total Urban               119            2,468,738   182          3,907,876    350            8,330,244

Source: Owusu, George. “Small Towns in Ghana: Justification for their Promotion under Ghana’s
Decentralization Program”, African Studies Quarterly, Vol. 8, Issue 2, spring 2005.

Ghana’s case study concludes by reaffirming            National governments should foster and fulfill
one essential point regarding how the ills of         their responsibility towards proper town
rapid urbanization can be tackled effectively.        and country planning. This responsibility
West Africa’s national governments must               requires a profound understanding of and a
show real and effective political will to             visionary approach to the relationship between
undertake adequate town and country                   geographical space, migration movements,
planning programs and pursue their                    population growth and socio-economic
implementations fully, with the necessary             development. One proactive way to fulfill this
legislative enforcement capacity. At the time         responsibility is to establish a legal and regulatory
of independence in the 1960s, the sub-region’s        framework within which urban development
national governments’ urban administrations           planners, local development authorities and
inherited the land use management and urban           the private sector should carry out their town
                                                      and country planning activities. An efficient,
planning responsibilities. If none existed, it
                                                      workable policy of decentralized urbanization
was still the innate responsibility of national
                                                      requires that urban planning responsibility
governments to create them. The international
                                                      should be distributed, not only in the functions
development community and partners are
                                                      but also the budget allocations, between
present in the sub-region, ready, and able            national government central administrations,
to offer financial and technical support. To           an autonomous, decentralized urban authority
achieve tangible results, political will as well as   and rural authorities. Appropriate enforcement
accountability must exist as a prerequisite at
national level.

or punitive measures must accompany town               individuals- to respect laws and regulations.
and country planning legislation.                      Therefore, civic education, participation and
                                                       responsibility are also required. Town and
A reform in national governments’ security             country planning policies should be promoted
sector apparatuses is much needed at this              by campaigns of awareness and programs of
point.                                                 education for urban dwellers regarding their
                                                       civic responsibilities.
Urban planning and environmental laws exist            When national governments take concrete
in national legislations. Unfortunately, the           steps to confront the problems of rapid
growth of democracy in the sub-region has not          urbanization in West Africa, there will be
necessarily been accompanied by the ability            significant improvements to socio-economic
of law enforcement machineries to compel               development, human security and socio-
urban inhabitants – including public utility           political stability in the sub-region.
bodies, private companies, households and

                                                  @ IRIN
       Escaping from locusts in Dakar, Senegal: running into a future of hope for urban West Africa?

                                             URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA - 35
Notes and references
          See http://www.hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2006/pdf/hdr06_summary.pdf ; The Human
          Development Index Value for Sub-Saharan Africa is put at 0.472, compared to the world average
          of 0.741. Sub-Saharan Africa human development index falls within the lowest group, at 0.427,
          compared to the developed world’s high human development figure of 0.923. The full list of
          ECOWAS countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,
          Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Mauritania, not
          part of ECOWAS, completes the total of 16 countries making up the West Africa sub-region.
          A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, Report of the Secretary-General’s High-
          Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, 2004. See http://www.un.org/secureworld/
          UN Habitat, State of the World’s Cities: Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa Urbanization
          &       Metropolitanization, in        http://www/unhabitat.org/mediacentre/documents/sowc/
          Niger’s population was 11,790,352 inhabitants by Census figures of 01-06-2001; 2006
          calculations put the figure at 14.4 million; see West African demographic indicators, Table 1 in
          Section 2 of this study.
          Liberia and Sierra Leone: Rebuilding Failed States ICG Africa Report No 87, 8 December 2004. p.16.
          “Food security over the medium and long term in the Sahel and West Africa.”, Statement by
          Normand Lauzon, Director, Sahel and West Africa Club, OECD, Paris, September 2005, p. 5.
          (Regional Conference on ‘the Agricultural and Food Security Situation in West Africa’).
          http://www.wisc.edu/uwcc/icic/issues/sustain/west-africa.html pp. 1-2.
          Cincotta, Richard P. [et al.]. The Security Demographics: Population and Civil Conflict after the
          cold war. Population Action International 2003.
          Ibid. p. 45 et seq.
          Though the premise is valid, it is advisable not to take a far-fetched view of this observation,
          as many countries in the sub-region have rapid rates of urbanization but have not experienced
          civil conflict as a result.
          See Environmental Scarcities and Violent Conflicts: Evidence from Cases. University of Toronto,
          Trudeau center for Peace and Conflicts Security, 1994. Contrary views regarding population
          pressure and scarcity also exist.
          Venard, J. L. Urban Planning and Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa, UNCED, Paper No. 5,
          (AFTES) 1995. http://www.worldbank.org
          Traoré, Sardio Dr. Questions de population au Mali: des enjeux internationaux aux perspectives
          locales. Les nouvelles tendances migratoires en Afrique de l’Ouest, CILSS, CERPOD.
          See Réseau de Migrations et Urbanisations en Afrique de l’Ouest – REMUAO, 1997, Rapport
          national descriptif ; Enquête sur les migrations et l’urbanisation au Burkina Faso.
          The CILSS study conclusions are echoed by another study on urbanization, focusing on Ghana
          but of relevance to the sub-region. See Owusu, George. “Small Towns in Ghana : Justifications
          for their promotion under Ghana’s Decentralization Program”, African Studies Quarterly,
          Vol. 8, Issue 2, Spring 2005, p. 48.
          United Nations. National Population Policies / Department of Economic and Social Affairs
          Population Division, New York, 1988.
          See Beauchemin, Chris. “Pour une relecture des tendances migratoires internes entre villes
          et campagnes : Une étude comparé Burkina-Faso – Côte d’Ivoire”, Cahiers québécois de
          démographie, Vol. 33 no. 2, automne 2004, pp. 167-169.
          Owusu, George. “Whose Space and Place?; Ethical Implications of ‘the Rural’ – ‘Urban’ divide
          and Current Development Processes in Sub-Saharan Africa”, in Acta Geographica Trondheim,
          Series A, No. 2, p. 223 (3). (quoting from Okali et al reference to Okpara. The Case of Aba and
          its region, Southeastern Nigeria; IIED, London, 2001). See also Owusu, George. “Small Towns in
          Ghana : Justifications for their Promotion under Ghana’s Decentralization Program”, African
          Studies Quarterly, Vol. 8, Issue 2, Spring 2005, p. 54. However, it is pertinent to question the
          sustainability of such reverse migration; could rural-urban return migration be explained as a
          strategic displacement strategy by the migrant, for eventual return to another urbanized area?
          Antoine, Philippe. “L’urbanisation en Afrique et ses perspectives », in Revue ‘Aliments dans les
          villes’, Programme FAO, «Approvisionnement et distribution alimentaires des villes», 1997
          (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Niger were given as examples).

                                             Notes and references
     Cour, Jean-Marie. « Les enjeux de l’Urbanisation dans les pays en voie de développement,
     Eléments de réflexion extraits de l’étude des perspectives à long terme en Afrique de l’Ouest»,
     Club du Sahel/OCDE, Septembre 1995.
     See Beauchemin, Chris. Op. cit.
     See http://www.dial.prd.fr/dial_publications/PDF/jumbosept2005.pdf.
     Beauchemin, Chris and Bocquier, Phillipe. Migration and Urbanization in Francophone West
     Africa: a Review of the Recent Empirical Evidence, Document de travail / Unite de Recherce
     CIPRÉ, September 2003, p. 7.
     See Rakodi, Carole. African Towns and Cities: Powerhouses of Economic Development or Slums of
     Despair, University of Birmingham, 2004. See also Beauchemin, Chris and Bocquier, Phillipe.
     “Migration and Urbanization in Francophone West Africa: a Review of the Recent Empirical
     Evidence”, Document de travail / Unite de Recherce CIPRÉ, September 2003, p. 7.
     Beauchemin, Chris and Bocquier, Phillipe. Op. cit., p. 12.
     See « Projections de la population du Niger de 2005 à 2050: un appel à l’action », travaux
     démographiques, vol. 1 – No. 1, avril 2005.
     PATH and United Nations Population Fund. Meeting the Needs: Strengthening Family
     Planning Programmes, Seattle: PATH/UNFPA; 2006. See http://www.unfpa.org/ publications.
     See Report by UNOWA, “Youth Unemployment and Regional Insecurity in West Africa”,
     UNOWA Issue Papers December 2005 (2nd Edition August 2006); see Report also at http://
     www.un.org/unowa/issuepapers. UNOWA observes that the estimated rate of unemployment
     among youths in sub-Saharan Africa is thought to be three times higher than among older
     adults, that for example in Burkina Faso 93% of migrants to cities are young people under the
     age of 35, in search of employment.
     For an example, Niger’s rural areas are inhabited by 83% of the country’s population; mostly
     youth below the age of 30, and 80% of this rural population is affected by unemployment
     and poverty, causing migration down south where youth populations and unemployment are
     already high.
     E/ The Environmental Magazine, September / October 2005, Vol. XVI, No. 5, p. 29.
     Environmental issues are now at the forefront of international development politics. As recently
     as April 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the UNEP and
     the WMO, has just presented its 4th Assessment Report “Climate Change 2007”. The report
     warns about rising temperatures, water scarcity and reduction in arable land and that though
     developing countries produce the least carbon dioxide emissions, yet their environments will
     be the hardest hit.
     See “Land Resources and their Use in West Africa”, in http//www.worldwildlife.org/bsp/
     OCHA: Consolidated Appeal Process (CAD), West Africa 2006, in http://www.reliefweb.int/
     David Pimentel et al. Ecology of Increasing Disease: Population Growth and Environmental
     Degradation Bioscience Vol. 48 No. 10, October 1998, p. 13. In http://www.dieoff.org
     See http://www.cillsnet.org/ June 2006 report.
     See for example the websites of WHO, UNEP, UN-Habitat, among others.
     See E / the Environmental Magazine, September / October 2005, Vol. XVI No. 5, p. 29.
     Ibid. p. 34.
     Ibid., p. 34.
     There are recent research studies in circulation that have provided empirical evidence (statistics
     on nature, trends, composition and proportions) regarding national and international
     migration within West Africa. There are also recent population census data that can be
     consulted for reference. Non-exhaustive examples are: Bouquier, Phillippe and Traoré, S.
     « Urbanisation et dynamique migratoire en Afrique de l’Ouest. La croissance urbaine en
     panne ». Paris, L’Harmattan, 2000. In Decaluwé, B., Dumont, J.C., Mesplé-Somps, Robichaud,
     V. Union économique et mobilité des facteurs : le cas de l’UEMOA. http://www.crefa.ecn.
     ulaval.ca/cahier/liste00.html ; Bocquier, Phillippe. “Analyzing Urbanization in Africa”, in
     G. Hugo and A. Champion New Forms of Urbanization, Ashgate, Aldershot UK., IUSSP
     Group on Urbanization, 2003; Beauchemin, Cris and Bocquier, Phillippe, “Migration and

                                                       37 - LI FE AFTER STATE H O - 37
                               URBA NIZATI O N AND I NSECURI TY I N WEST AFRI CA USE
Notes and references

          Urbanization in West Africa: a Review of the Recent Empirical Evidence”, Document de Travail
          Dial / Unité de Recherche CIPRÉ, September 2003
          Adepoju, Aderanti. Fostering free movement of persons in West Africa: achievements, pitfalls
          and prospects for intra-regional migration, in http://www.iussp.org/Brazil2001/s20/s26_P03_
          Adepoju.pdf , pp. 2-3. See also Bouquier, Phillippe and Traoré, S. Op. cit.
          PATH/UNFPA; 2006. See http://www.unfpa.org/ publications. Also, see website of the Global
          Commission on International Migration website http://www.gcim.org for their October 2005
          report “Migration in an interconnected world: New directions for action”, presented to the UN
          under mandate to provide a framework for the formulation of a coherent global response to
          international migration.
          Adepoju, Aderanti. Op. Cit., p. 9.
          Kosiga, Konseiga. “New Patterns in Human Migration in West Africa”, (2005), in http://
          wwww.gdnet.org/fulltext/konseiga.pdf, p. 22. Conclusions are drawn from research surveys
          (RGPH1975, 1988, 1998; NESMUWA 1993 and World Bank Data 2003.
          A good number of international migrants would also have settled initially in rural areas of the
          destination countries such as Côte d’Ivoire (farmhands from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso)
          but these migrants and/or their families born in Côte d’Ivoire would ultimately form part of
          the internal rural-urban migratory pattern.
          UN Habitat, State of the World’s Cities: Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa Urbanization
          &      Metropolitanization,      in     http://www/unhabitat.org/mediacentre/documents/sowc/
          Beauchemin, Cris and Bocquier, Phillippe, “Migration and Urbanization in West Africa: a
          Review of the Recent Empirical Evidence”, Document de Travail Dial / Unité de Recherche
          CIPRÉ, September 2003, p. 8.
          See proceedings of the CURDIPHE Conference, 20-23 March 1996, Direction of Saliou
          Touré, in Politique Afrique, No. 78, June 2000, Karthala, Paris, pp. 65-66. This viewpoint
          is also supported by the International Displacement Monitoring Centre’s report; see www.
          dp.idpproject.org/report - “Profile of Internal Displacement: Côte d’Ivoire”, 7 November
          Maninger, Stephen. “The urbanisation of conflict”, in African Security Review, Vol. 9 No 1,
          2000, in www.iss.co.za/pubs/ASR/9No1/UrbanisationConflict.html, p. 2.
          See World Bank Regional Reports, Africa Region, 2001.
          UN Habitat. Op. cit.
          Maninger, Stephen. Op. cit., p. 1. The author cites Asian and Middle Eastern cities as examples
          of infrastructural overload through population pressure; we extend this example to Africa.
          UN Habitat. Op. cit.
          UN Habitat. Op. cit.
          Maninger, Stephen. Op. cit., p. 2
          See http://www.egoproject.nl/inhoud.htm, quoting Robert D. Kaplan.
          See http://www.gazetteer.de, especially Profiles on geographical entities.
          Fearon, J and Laitin, D. “Nigeria, Random Narrative”, Stanford University, June 2005 (draft), p.1.
          Ibid. pp. 18-19.
          Ibid., p. 18; referring to the National Post (Canada)’s recounting of the June 2004 battle, among
          others, between a joint security force and an array of well-armed gangs in the oil rich Niger
          Delta region. NB: Niger Delta is mostly rural territory, and conflicts are mostly based on
          the unequal distribution of revenue from oil wealth, but the general climate of insecurity is
          matched by the insecurity in urban areas such as Lagos.

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