Some Development Implications of Housing and Spatial Policies in Sub-Saharan African Countries with Emphasis on Cameroon

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Housing and spatial standards have seldom been evaluated within the broader context of national development in less developed countries (LDCs). Yet, the need to understand the implications of such standards, especially given negative trends in the economies of these countries, cannot be overstated. This study draws on the experience of sub-Saharan African countries, particularly Cameroon, to shed some light on how housing and spatial policies, especially those inherited from the colonial era or those borrowed from developed countries, can affect the development process in LDCs. It is argued that the policies can contribute to problems such as disparities in the distribution of income and wealth, unemployment, housing shortage, costly housing and related services, foreign-exchange difficulties, technological and cultural dependence, gender-based socioeconomic inequities, balance-of-payment deficits, and costly transportation services. Although the focus is on Cameroon, the information uncovered and the conclusions reached are likely to be of relevance to other LDCs.

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International Planning Studies, v. 5, issue 1, p. 25-44