Arimah, Benedict C.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Geography and Geology
Measuring and explaining the provision of infrastructure in African cities
International Planning Studies
Date of Publication
There are few studies that investigate the provision of infrastructure in Africa from a cross-city perspective. This can be attributed to the dearth of reliable data. The United Nations Human Settlements programme (UN-Habitat) through its Global Urban Indicators Programme recently completed the collection of an extensive set of urban indicators for 237 cities worldwide. Drawing on the African component of this database, this paper measures and accounts for intercity variations in the provision of infrastructure. The empirical analysis reveals that the provision of infrastructure in African cities can be measured in terms of a single dimension of basic infrastructure, which comprises water, electricity, sewerage, sanitation and telecommunication services. Further analysis shows that the most important variables explaining intercity differences in the dimension of basic infrastructure are: income as measured by GDP per capita; external debt burden of the country in which the city is located; city size; public sector expenditure on infrastructure; local government's capital expenditure; and the proportion of the local authority's revenue derived from user charges.....