Contentious Global Issues
- Elgar original reference
Edited by H. S. Geyer
17 Urban environmental policy in Africa: the real story F. Retief and N. Rossouw Introduction Africa, also referred to as the ‘cradle of man’, is a continent of extremes known for its political instability, poverty and poor governance, but also for its exceptional natural beauty and abundance of resources. The riches of Africa were highlighted by the Roman Plinius who introduced the saying, ‘Ex Africa semper aliquid novi’, which translates, ‘Always something new out of Africa’. As the title suggests, the main theme of this chapter deals with ‘urban environmental policy’ in Africa. In addressing this theme three aspects need to be acknowledged and clariﬁed up front. First, the deﬁnition of ‘urban’ diﬀers markedly between African countries. For example, in Uganda, a settlement with a population of more than a 100 is classiﬁed as urban, compared with Nigeria where a settlement needs to include a population of more than 20 000. Second, as is the case in South Africa, administrative boundaries and legislative functions also complicate urban boundaries, where the jurisdiction of local authorities covers both cities and large tracts of peri-urban and rural land. Third, ‘environmental policy’ is widely deﬁned to include a range of diﬀerent policy-level processes and interventions implemented within diverse institutional, legal and decision-making contexts. This makes ‘environmental policy’ an ambiguous term and generalizations around the topic virtually impossible due to diﬀerences in application. The main aim of this chapter is to introduce the theme of urban environmental policy...
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