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Decentralisation and Spatial Rural Development Planning in Cameroon

Emmanuel Neba Ndenecho

Publication Year: 2011

Despite rapid urbanisation, Africa remains predominantly rural. This calls for decentralisation beyond the dominant concern by states and government with urban spaces. Rural areas, rural development and the future of rural settlements need to be understood and addressed in the context of the ongoing democratisation trends and the emergence and development of civil society. States have tended to tame rather than serve civil society in Africa. By establishing a single cultural reference and imposing a centralised state, African governments have exacerbated the fragmentation of civil society. However, political pluralism has slowly been gaining ground since the 1990s. This book explores the scope for implementing decentralisation programmes that focus on citizens in rural areas. For the purpose of decentralisation, civic participation in local politics and user participation in development programmes must be seen as two sides of the coin. The book focuses on spatial planning ñ a process concerned with spatial organisation in an integrative manner, and incorporates the design, establishment and implementation of a desired spatial structural organisation of land. This is especially relevant in a context where the formulation of guidelines for spatial development at the overall level of a state is inadequate.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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List of Figures

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pp. v-vi

List of Tables

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pp. vii

List of Plates

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pp. vii-viii

Abbreviations Used In This Book

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pp. viii

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pp. ix-x

Thanks are expressed to several authors and recognition is given to their works in the realisation of this book. To ease reading the design of the book excludes a full list of references. I am grateful to the following for the reproduction of copyright material: Neba Aaron for Figure 2 and plate 8; Mendunga E.T.A. for the plans and sections of...

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pp. xi-xii

The second half of the twentieth century has seen the continuous transformation of the population in Africa into urban dwellers. However, rural areas still accommodate the majority of the population and will continue to do so well into this century. Africa is predominantly rural, and will remain so beyond the year 2020. Rural...

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1. The Theoretical Framework

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pp. 1-18

Rural refers to the countryside as opposed to the urban area. The rural population in popular use means the people living in the countryside as opposed to the people living in urban areas or towns. It can also imply the people living in an administrative unit of a certain defined size or population, according to the country. One can therefore...

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2. Cultural Identity and the Rural Habitat

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pp. 19-50

Any systematic study of human settlement must be daunting, and for many reasons. Cameroon is often referred to as “Africa in miniature”. The country has over 200 tribes or has people who are diverse in race, social habits and economic assets. There are great differences between the mode of life of millions of peasant peoples caught in a...

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3. The Rural Habitat and Farm System Development

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pp. 51-78

Every settlement is unique, and has a personality of its own. Each village and farm, too, is a distinctive item in the landscape, and has no precise duplicate. Villages often occupy similar sites, share the same form and perform similar functions, and individual buildings, though varying regionally, are in a particular area, generally built of identical...

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4. Rural Settlement-Spatial Development Planning

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pp. 79-92

At the beginning of this new millennium the population distribution of Cameroon is almost 40% urban and 60% rural. These proportions at this historical juncture present a timely opportunity to revisit a question that has occupied spatial planners for most of the past century: Can rural-urban linkages be promoted in a way that benefits...

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5. Stemming Rural Exodus

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pp. 93-104

Since independence, Cameroon has experienced economic progress and in particular industrial advancement is now dynamic. This has accelerated the growth of urban populations to the disadvantage of the countryside. The towns have the advantage of declining mortality rates, which allows them to expand by natural increase as well as by...

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6. Decentralisation and the Scope for Regional Rural Development

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pp. 105-118

Integrated Rural Development Projects (IRDP) initiated after Independence (1960s) generally adopted a multi-sectoral, regional approach to alleviate rural poverty. The approach aimed at raising rural incomes, mainly through increased agricultural productivity, and tried to consider the synergistic effects of basic education, health and other...

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7. Models and Strategies for Rural Settlement Planning

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pp. 119-143

From figure one in chapter one we saw that assuming constant fertility, Cameroon had a per capita cultivable land of 3 hectares per person in 1960, 2.1 hectares per person in 1975, 0.9 hectares per person in 2000 and 0.4 hectares per person by 2025. Long-term forecasts of population density and shrinking per head holdings lead towards...

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8. Decentralisation and Regionalization: Recipe for Sustainable Local Development

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pp. 145-154

Regional policy in the sense of planning is an on-going process in a political system, which is concerned with spatial organization in an integrative manner, and incorporates the design, establishment and implementation of desired structural organization of land. In Cameroon, like many sub-Saharan African countries the state is yet to play...


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pp. 155-157

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956717705
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956717668

Page Count: 314
Publication Year: 2011