TITLE

Kenya’s Secondary Cities Growth Strategy at a Crossroads: Which Way Forward?

AUTHOR(S)
Kefa M. Otiso
PUB. DATE
January 2005
SOURCE
GeoJournal;Jan2005, Vol. 62 Issue 1/2, p117
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Abstract Kenya has been promoting equitable urban and regional development since the 1970s despite the lack of a clearly formulated national urban policy or an urban and regional development policy. A key element of the country’s equitable urban and regional development effort is the promotion of secondary cities that would relieve population pressure in the countryside, help to better integrate the country’s rural and urban economies, help to reduce congestion and improve the quality of life in the metropolitan cities of Nairobi and Mombasa, and help increase the modernization spin-off which urban centers provide to the surrounding rural areas. Using recent census and economic survey data, this paper examines the current state of Kenya’s secondary cities in the context of its urban and regional development strategies. The paper finds that: (1) the country’s urban and regional development strategies have failed to work as planned largely because of insufficient devolution of power and fiscal responsibility to municipal and other local government units, (2) the country’s secondary cities are faced with immense challenges that undermine their ability to live up to expectations, (3) some of these cities have significantly grown economically over the last four decades despite immense challenges, and (4) Nairobi’s dominance of Kenya’s economy continues because of policies that unwittingly concentrate investments there. The paper concludes with strategies that could enhance the country’s urban and regional development programs and, in the process, aid the development of its secondary cities.
ACCESSION #
20098836

 

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