Case Examples

Country Assessments: Africa

Burkina Faso | Cameroon | Cote D’Ivoire | Ghana | Mali | Namibia | Senegal | Swaziland | Tanzania | Zambia
Information Source: Swaziland: Country Assessment Report.
The World Bank, AFTU 1 & 2. January 2002.
Swaziland Map Location Photo - Cote D’Ivoire

Context Summary

Swaziland is a small landlocked country of about 17,360 square kilometers, with a population of approximately 1 million in 1999, at a density of 57 persons per square kilometer. Swaziland has some natural mineral resources (coal, asbestos, timber) but is a predominantly market economy based largely on wholesale and retail trade, agriculture and light industries. The Gross Domestic Product per capita is approximately US$1,300.

The climate is generally hot in the low veld (to the east) and more temperate and wet in the high veld (to the west).

The Matsapha Industrial Estate in large part drove urbanization in Swaziland. It began developing as early as 1963 and development accelerated from the late 60s through the 80s when the economy grew quickly, assisted by the toughening of international sanctions against South Africa, which prompted many south African firms or multi-nationals with South African operations to relocate to Swaziland. In recent years economic growth has slowed in part due to increased competition, an economic recession and the lifting of international sanctions in South Africa.

Swaziland has a relatively low level of urbanization but in recent years this has been growing rapidly, partly due to a drought in 1992 and economic decline leading to some rural to urban migration. Population in urban and peri-urban areas is now reckoned to be about 33 percent.

Most urban growth has been unplanned and informal. More than 60 percent of the population living in the Mbabane–Manzini corridor live in informal, unplanned communities in sub-standard structures on un-surveyed land without legal title. Less than 50 percent have access to safe water and fewer than 20 percent are connected to a waterborne sewerage network.

Lessons from Recent Projects - Summary

Throughout the planning and design of the three main upgrading schemes of the Swaziland Urban Development Project (SUDP), and the beginning of implementation of the first scheme, lessons include:

  • Relevant policies and legislation should be in place to address specific project issues to implementation.
  • Mechanisms for coordination between various stakeholders are important for effective implementation.
  • Project ownership by the beneficiary community is an essential pre-requisite which can only be achieved by effective community empowerment:
    • Politically, through participatory decision making on matters affecting them
    • Economically, through small works contracts and granting secure land tenure
    • Socially, through community meetings and interaction with government through appropriate facilitators recruited from the community and trained.
  • Housing finance has to be made available through sympathetic financial institutions willing to lend relatively small amounts with simplified application and processing procedures.
  • Implementing agencies need access to soft loans and/or subsidies for the poorest urban dwellers.
  • The technical and managerial capacity of implementing agencies should be strengthened for implementation and to ensure sustainability.
  • Arrangements to deal with marginal/destitute group need to be identified to avoid flight from the community and squatting elsewhere.
  • Schemes involving interaction with, and participation of communities, are time consuming and their financing through revolving funds, which necessitate sequential implementation, may not be workable in acceptable time frames.
  • Schemes where “network” infrastructure is provided in difficult conditions require careful planning and management, and experienced civil works contractors and supervision consultants.
  • The choice of Implementing Agency is critical. City Councils may be the more appropriate implementing agencies to achieve accountability and profitability.

For more information:
Click on:
1. Background
2. Current Situation
3. Policy Context and Institutional Framework
4. Upgrading Projects and Programs
5. Case Study
6. Lessons Learned
7. Challenges and Proposed Next Steps
Annex A: Country and City Data
Annex B: Bibliography
Annex C: Contact Information
Annex D: Summary of Upgrading Typologies

Download for Printing:
Download Report (Acrobat PDF file, 106 k)

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