The beautiful city of Luanda is one of the great cities of Africa. In the capital of Angola live more than four million people, mostly young people full of potential. In this context, it becomes crucial to consider how best to organize the city and to realize the potential that it holds.
The exponential growth of the city has generated various pressures, particularly on the ability to simultaneously provide housing affordable and quality for urban populations, many of them recent arrivals to the city from rural areas where habits are markedly different. These pressures are also visible on the urban sanitation, water supply and electricity, pollution, not to mention about the costs for the operation of all economic activity in the city and the country itself implicated by heavy road traffic.
Better organize the city to promote the development of Luanda
It is in this context that urges rethink the urban organization of the city of Luanda. Experts in economics and urban geography must join together to think about how you can put specific areas within the city to function independently and productively.
The reorganization or creation of urban centers within the city of Luanda should contemplate the creation and promotion of local shops and businesses that serve not only the people living in them, but also to boost their productive employment and hence the effective promotion of economic activity and balanced growth of the city of Luanda. This idea should be implemented in conjunction with careful advance planning and the necessary urban infrastructure in terms of water supply, electricity and urban sanitation. Ideally the centers should be created or reorganized also take into account an adjustment for own needs and habits of the people who need urban housing such as populations recently arrived in Luanda from the rural areas.
Better organize the city to promote the development of the whole country
The phenomenon of rural exodus continues to be very significant in Angola, and specifically towards Luanda. But the truth is that 80% of the Angolan workforce still working in agriculture.
This could be used as a development opportunity for the country if introducing elements of innovation in the areas of telecommunications and financial, which may have at its intersection technologies like mobile banking. Technologies of this kind can be carried out instantly and very affordable resource transfers from the city to rural areas. These transfers of resources can be harnessed as a form of financing for the modernization and rural development, especially if created instruments guarantee to urban populations productive use in rural areas. Beyond good in itself that this type of growth can be, this process would be useful for the entire country to promote a more vibrant, but also more harmonious nationwide.
Written by Cátia Batista, Assistant Professor of Economics at the Nova School of Business and Economics and Executive Director of the Center NOVAFRICA