Secondary Cities in Kenya: Problems of Decentralization, Municipal Finance and Urban Infrastructure

  • David B. Lewis


Located at the equator on the coast of the Indian ocean in East Africa, Kenya has a population of 20 million people. It has a very high growth rate at approximately 4 per cent per year. Most of the population, 85 per cent, lives in rural areas and is engaged in agriculture. Only 20 per cent of the land area of the country is suitable for agriculture, and that is already saturated at the maximum density that can be supported. There is very limited opportunity for horizontal expansion of the rural population into new areas. The labor force of the country will double by the end of the century. This is not a statistical projection but a demographic fact: the new entrants to the labor force at that date have already been born and are children with names. The urban population will increase from three million in 1984 to nine to ten million by the year 2000. This will mean that the urban population will increase as a percentage of total population from 15 per cent to 25 or 30 per cent of the total. Even then, the increasing pressure of rural density will present serious problems.


Labor Force Central Government Informal Sector Urban Infrastructure Urban Place 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of City and Regional PlanningCornell UniversityUSA

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