Scoping visit: Job creation ecosystems in African secondary cities

Project Active from to Cities

Both international organisations and African governments increasingly acknowledge that secondary cities are pivotal in fostering the development of inclusive, productive and job-rich growth. Despite the growing emphasis on balanced urbanisation processes and investment in secondary cities, national strategies around these issues are often devised without giving attention to how localities will translate those policies into change on the ground.

Research shows local economic development is generally driven by a coalition of local actors that cultivate a vibrant business climate. Hence, policy implementation is not simply about the capacity of local government, but also about the strength of ties between government, a supportive private sector and civil society to create an ecosystem for job creation. In this context, understanding the following about local economic development is critical:

  • the current ways in which local public, private and civil society actors are working to spur local economic development;
  • how they seek to translate and implement national job creation strategies in their local context;
  • the extent of success or failure in doing so; and
  • the degree to which these stakeholders are interfacing and coordinating with one another in these efforts.

This project aims to address these issues by investigating the role of secondary cities in driving job creation in Tanzania. The secondary city of focus will be Singida, which is one of Tanzania’s smallest regional capitals in terms of population and located in one of the least urbanised regions of the country. Thus, Singida provides an interesting case study of the role of smaller towns in the national urban hierarchy and the rural-urban interface concerning economic linkages and migration patterns.

The scoping visit will consist of a multi-stakeholder analysis of the urban economy and labour market in Singida and investigate the role of local actors (government, private sector and civil society) in driving local economic development and job creation.

This project aims to produce policy suggestions at the local and national level for improving the quantity and quality of work in the city. It will also aim to understand how national strategies for job creation translate to change at the local level.