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8 Abidjan: From the public making of a modern city to urban management of a metropolis
Regroupant aujourd'hui plus de 2.5 millions d'habitants, la métropole abidjanaise a été précocement insérée dans la division internationale du travail. Ville-relais du système colonial, localisée en bordure de l'Océan Atlantique et bénéficiant d'un remarquable site portuaire, Abidjan doit son fulgurant essor démographique à la vigoureuse croissance économique impulsée, durant trente ans, par l'économie de plantation, le modèle agro-exportateur ivoirien et les investissements étrangers. L'édification d'un appareil d'Etat puissant et centralisé a renforcé en permanence le poids de la capitale économique, dont les industries et les services vent articulés au système-monde. Le projet urbain moderniste, indissociable des choix politiques fondamentaux de croissance dans la dépendance, confère à Abidjan une structure unique en Afrique de l'ouest. Le volontarisme public, la planification, la tentation de l'urbanisme intégral ont abouti à la mise en place de remarquables infrastructures de transport et d'un imposant dispositif de maîtrise du sol et de production de logement: à la veille de la récession économique le pare immobilier public regroupait plus de 22 pour cent des citadins. A cet "endroit" du modèle s'oppose cependant un "envers," constitué par les cours communes, forme d'habitat rassemblant toujours la majorité des Abidjanais.
Depuis le début des années 80, la crise du modèle agro-exportateur, la raréfaction des ressources financières de l'Etat, les impasses des options urbanistiques et le ralentissement de l'élan démographique ont eu des conséquences considérables sur la dynamique de la ville. Le temps n'est plus aux grands investissements publics mais à la gestion privatisée des services, à la décentralisation et au développement local, nouveaux fétichismes maniés par la Banque Mondiale, devenue le principal interlocuteur de l'Etat, et les organisations non-gouvernementales. Des trots types d'acteurs principaux, l'Etat et les sociétés concessionnaires de services publics, les 10 communes de plein exercice, la "Ville d'Abidjan," entité supra-communale, c'est cette dernière qui a été mise hors-jeu de la gestion urbaine. La décentralisation a des aspects positifs, mais les pouvoirs municipaux ne maîtrisent pas les mécanismes producteurs d'inégalités dans l'ensemble de la ville de sorte que, faute de poser clairement la question des modes et des échelles d'arbitrage et de péréquation, et finalement de la nature des pouvoirs, les écarts entre les communes les plus riches et les plus défavorisées se vent accrue. Par son intérêt et surtout par ses limites, l'expérience abidjanaise montre que l'efficacité du gouvernement de la ville pour le plus grand nombre des citadins repose sur la nécessaire articulation entre la richesse des dispositifs locaux et les ressources d'un système plus global d'encadrement.
With probably more than 2.5 million inhabitants in 1994 (there were 1,934,000 at the 1988 census and the annual growth rate between 1984 and 1988 was 4.2 per cent), Abidjan is the second- or third-largest West African city after Lagos, and perhaps Ibadan, and has all the characteristics of a metropolis. The city hosts more than one-fifth of Côte d'Ivoire's total population, who came in successive waves of migration from every region of the country, as well as from neighbouring states. It is both an inheritance from the colonial past and an economic centre, which has been dynamized by basic development opportunities based on integration into the global market. These opportunities, which have influenced both the settlement's dynamics and the concentration of economic activities, have had a considerable impact on the urban structure and organization. The circumstances and the results are unique in West Africa.
Abidjan comprises at present 10 communes (districts) with a total area of 57,735 ha, of which 8,991 ha are lagoons (AUA, 1989), while 17,000 had been urbanized one way or another by 1988. Often referred to as "the pearl of the lagoons," Abidjan is the outcome of a modernist project financed by the vigorous economic growth of the 1960s and 1970s. Recession, a slower population growth rate in the 1980s and 1990s, the financial crisis of the state, which was the main investment player, and the dead end of a far too selective modernization process have changed the urban set-up. The time for large state spending is no more. It has given way to the privatization of services, meant to attract productive investments; to decentralization; and to local development - the latest fetishes of the World Bank and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Does this mean that the providers of public and centralized services should cease from being necessary stakeholders; or that integrated planning and urban development, which offer some measure of equality and fairness, should be rejected because they cannot be the responsibility of local players and district authorities, particularly in the case of a metropolis?
The Abidjan conurbation
From colonial stopover to economic centre
Inherited from the colonial past: Early involvement in the international division of labour
To understand the Abidjan phenomenon, this gathering of people, investments, capital, and assets, it is necessary to recall, however briefly, its colonial past, because the emergence of this urban area is linked to the forging of a tool in the colonial system of exchange, as a means to subordinate the colonial periphery to the needs of the colonial power (Antoine et al., 1987). It derives from the search for a healthy site where Europeans could be safe from the yellow fever and malaria that decimated them, haunting the colonial administration and justifying a "hygienistic" urbanization pattern, which has had a durable imprint on the urban structure.
In 1934, when Abidjan, whose first housing estates dated back to 1903 and 1904, was promoted to be the capital city of the Côte d'Ivoire instead of Grand-Bassam and Bingerville, it was still a modest coastal town, with 17,000 inhabitants, fewer than in Bouaké. The transfer of the capital, decided in 1920, signified the triumph of the administration over the mercenary aspirations of the merchants. By concentrating political and economic leadership, Abidjan became the core from which "civilization" could shine and colonial development could be promoted.
The capital city's functions were clearly defined: it was the apex of the administration's pyramid, the stopover point from which tropical products were exported to France and manufactured goods imported, safe from the customs barriers set up by the empire. The choice of the site, therefore, was not only based on its salubriousness, but also proceeded from the search for the best site for emerging trade, enabling transhipment between the railways serving the interior and a deep-water harbour, which served as an axis for external relations (Rougerie, 1950). Having been systematically explored since 1897, the Abidjan "lagoon complex" (Haeringer, 1977; see fig. 8.1) was considered highly appropriate for the construction of a harbour, offering vast possibilities for development. A large lagoon of about 800 ha at Ebrie, west of the island of Petit-Bassam, and in some places as much as 10 m deep was protected from the breaking ocean rollers by a sandy offshore bar, so narrow it was easy to break through. Not far from the shore lies an ocean deep, called Trou-sans-Fond, into which the sands from the coastal drift could be swept, preventing the gradual blockage of the channel to be built between the lagoon and the ocean. In addition, it was desirable that the railway line should cross the southern forests by the shortest route and Abidjan was very well situated near the pre-forest savannah of the "V Baoulé," thus reducing the distance through the forest that the railway had to traverse to approximately 150 km.
The maritime area thus selected was bordered to the north by a 30 m high plateau of sedimentary rock, cut by deep bays, where most slopes and soils provided ample space for easy building, and where the colonial authorities had no problem forcibly resettling the indigenous rural Ebrie population.
The work on the railway line started in 1904, as well as the first excavations for the channel. But whereas the railway line progressed smoothly, reaching Dimbokro in 1910, Bouaké in 1912, Ferkessé-dougou in 1926, and Bobo-Dioulasso in 1934, the building of the first channel, badly sited, was a failure. By 1910 Abidjan was still without a harbour, and although a wharf was commissioned in 1927 at Port-Bouët, with a direct link to the railway station, the city did not enjoy a decisive advantage over its rival, Grand-Bassam. It was only in 1950, after the opening of the Vridi channel, that the work on the harbour could start. Abidjan was then dynamized by rapid colonial development, with the building of tracks and roads, the fast expansion of trade following exploitation of the forest, and, above all, village-level production of coffee and cocoa. The headquarters and warehouses of the big import-export firms were set up in the town, which, now linked by the railway line to Ouagadougou and with a vast road network converging towards the harbour, became the hub for foreign trade. Extensive urban development, the construction of the harbour and its activities, the cumulative impact of the growth of services, and the first factories set up with French capital contributed to create a wage sector that attracted a massive influx of local and foreign workers. By 1960, the population had increased 2.7-fold in 10 years and Abidjan, with 180,000 inhabitants, saw its built-up area progressing rapidly outside the old colonial town boundaries (fig. 8.2).
Fig. 8.1 The "lagoon" complex of Abidjan (Source: based on Aka Kouadio Akou, Les transports collectifs à Abidjan, Ph.D. dissertation, Université de Paris X Nanterre, Nanterre, 1989)
Abidjan: Accelerated dynamism-dependent growth
Abidjan's pre-eminent status and the modern urban project chosen for the town cannot be separated from the fundamental characteristics of the agricultural export model of the Côte d'Ivoire in the 1960s. By giving priority to increased involvement in the global market and export-oriented agriculture, and by opening up to overseas personnel and technicians as well as to foreign capital, while favouring state intervention, Abidjan's potential for production and services was strengthened. Thus in 1975 the city accounted for 40 per cent of the country's gross capital formation, 50 per cent of household consumption of finished products, 90 per cent of value added from so-called modern trade, 80 per cent of value added from the tertiary sector, and 67 per cent of value added from manufactures. All the surveys carried out at the end of the 1970s recorded a high level of urban economic activity (in 1978, 437,500 people, i.e. 59 per cent of the adult population, were employed, including 89 per cent of men and 36 per cent of women). The high proportion of workers in waged employment (60 per cent of the economically active population in 1978) was unique in Côte d'Ivoire. By 1984, when government was blaming the broader economic climate rather than domestic crisis for the country's poor economic performance, Abidjan's structure remained characterized predominantly by so-called "modern" activities, which accounted for 58 per cent of urban jobs. Public administration, services, and trade accounted for 67 per cent of wage-earning jobs and 74 per cent of wage income, whereas manufacturing and construction accounted for 32 per cent of formal employment. The pre-eminence of the tertiary sector and the relative importance of industrial establishments were due to the role given to Abidjan in the process of dependent growth (Fauré and Médard, 1982).
Fig. 8.2 The spatial growth of Abidjan (Source: based on DCGTx, Atlas des modes d'occupation des sols, état 1989, AUA, Abidjan, 1992)
The first player in this process was the state. "What the Côte d'Ivoire will not and should not experience, for its own good, is local capitalism. The only capitalism we must build is State capitalism," stated President Félix Houphouët-Boigny in his policy speech of 3 January 1961 at the National Assembly. At the time of independence, the state was thought to be the only local agent capable of immediate, large-scale, economic action to ensure the desired accelerated growth. Deliberate public intervention meant both a consolidation of government power and accumulation in part by or through the state, which organized the reception of foreign capital, was responsible for economic planning, and promoted the transfer of surpluses from agriculture to infrastructure and industry. The setting up of a powerful and centralized state apparatus permanently strengthened Abidjan's decision-making capacities, because ministries were still located there in 1995, while the transfer of the political and administrative functions of the capital city to Yamoussoukro in 1983 remains symbolic. The operations of an interventionist administration, as well as those of the banking system and public investment, were considerable driving forces (between 1970 and 1978 public investment made up 813 per cent of GDP). These, together with the centralization of decision-making powers, consolidated Abidjan's central position linked to its harbour and facilitated local and foreign investment in the city. Planned to serve as a focus for growth, the capital city has enjoyed enormous support from the state, which from 1970 to 1980 spent two-thirds of all public funds for local development (infrastructure) there (i.e. 547,000 million CFA francs' (1980), as against 205,000 million for the towns of the interior and 68,000 million for Yamoussoukro).
In his pursuit of "economic diplomacy" towards Europe and North America, President Félix Houphouët-Boigny used his charisma to help diversify the foreign partners of the newly born state. Up until 1967, the Caisse centrale de coopération économique (CCCE) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) were its two main financial partners in development activities, but from 1968 onwards the country obtained loans from Italy, Germany, and Canada, as well as assistance from the World Bank, the European Development Bank, and the African Development Bank. When economic growth was at its fastest, between 1973 and 1977, multinational banks became the Côte d'Ivoire's main partners, with external funds financing 60 per cent of public spending; integrated into the global economy, Abidjan was established as the focus for the transfer of international flows of finance.
The permanent consolidation of the city's infrastructure and facilities, the creation of new industrial-port areas, and the institution of a favourable tax environment (Investment Code and Tariff Code) stimulated private foreign investment. The continuous general economic growth (7 per cent per annum from 1960 to 1978) and the real though unequal redistribution of monetary resources in the country (household consumption increased by 3.79 per cent per annum from 1960 to 1978 while population grew at more than 4 per cent) guaranteed an exceptional degree of political and economic stability and were essential for foreign stakeholders. The spectacular expansion of coffee and cocoa plantations in the southern forests, the development of large government, parastatal, and private plantations in the north (for sugarcane production) and the south (for oil palm, hevea, and pineapple), and the expansion of cotton production in the Sudanese savannah produced raw materials for agro-industries, supported national demand for manufactures, and strengthened Abidjan's hold on the whole country.
Enhanced by remarkable efforts to provide the country with a communication infrastructure, this hold also derives from the city's enlarged food supply, because local agriculture is geared to feed it. Urbanization has not radically changed people's eating habits, or driven them to a Western lifestyle (Requier-Desjardins, 1985; Dubresson, 1989) and even members of the élite express their national identity by eating early yams. Local products such as cassava, yam, plantains, and rice have remained staple foods for urban dwellers, who have adopted new consumer products (beverages, milk, butter, stock cubes, vinegar) without abandoning their former diet. In 1988, urban consumption was 158,000 tons of rice, 27,500 tons of maize, 102,400 tons of cassava, 52,600 tons of yam, and 135,000 tons of plantain, all mainly brought in from distant districts outside the Abidjan region. This preservation of traditional diets has led to serious changes in the rural areas, where food crops became cash crops to supply the urban markets (Chaléard, 1994). Because of its size and cosmopolitan nature and the variety of cultural groups living there, Abidjan is the country's largest market, accounting for one-third of the national demand for food products coming from all over the country and further, from Burkina-Faso and Mali.
Despite the new port in San Pedro, it is Abidjan harbour (with an average turnover of 10 million tons) that handles 90 per cent of exports of agricultural products, whether raw materials or processed, and the imports of capital goods and inputs for manufactures and building (fig. 8.3). Foreign private capital, invested mainly in import-export trade and import substitution industries, is concentrated in Abidjan, whose industrial structure, based mainly on agro-industries, chemicals, and metal processing for final consumption, has been developing steadily since 1983. In that year, 24 countries were represented in Côte d'Ivoire's industrial capital stocks (France 19.9 per cent, Switzerland 3.5 per cent, Lebanon and the United Kingdom 2.3 per cent each, United States 1.7 per cent). There were only a few multinationals (Nestlé, Union Carbide, and oil companies), but whereas local private and state stakeholders were major owners of fixed assets, foreign capital controlled 41 per cent of production and more than 53 per cent of value added (Dubresson, 1989).
Through the cumulative growth of services, trade, and industry, in 1980 Abidjan accounted for approximately 50 per cent of the country's GDP and the per capita product was 682,000 CFA francs, 2.7 times higher than that of the country as a whole. Diversification of foreign capital, Abidjan's dominance over the whole country, and penetration of West African Economic Community markets have transformed Abidjan into an economic metropolis, as demonstrated by its stock exchange and the fact that 45 per cent of the built-up land is used for amenities or economic activities (fig. 8.3).
Crisis in the agricultural export model: A city in recession
Since the beginning of the 1980s, however, all the macroeconomic indicators have thrown doubt on the Côte d'Ivoire agricultural exports model. Income from the exports of coffee and cocoa, for which the country is, respectively, third and first world producer, has plummeted (293.5 million CFA francs in 1992 compared with 747 million in 1985), and total exports have decreased (728.6 million CFA francs in 1992 compared with 1,240.4 million in 1975), while GDP, which stagnated (in constant terms) for some time, has decreased continuously since 1987. According to the World Bank, the balance of payments deficit grew from US$73 million to US$1,614 million between 1970 and 1991 and total foreign debt stood at US$19,146 million in 1993, i.e. more than 224 per cent of the GNP. Although opening to the world enhanced Abidjan's growth, the city is now suffering from the full force of the crisis of the model on which Côte d'Ivoire's economy was based.
Subjected to structural adjustment, the state was forced to review its whole strategy (Contamin and Fauré, 1990; Fauré, 1992). The closing of 18 parastatals and the restructuring of public companies have led to the loss of some 11,000 jobs, many of them in Abidjan. Civil service recruitment has been frozen and, following the 1991 census of personnel, thousands of daily workers were retrenched. Further to the loss of jobs in the state and parastatal sector, building and public works have collapsed and industrial production has decreased; from 1983 to 1993, over 15,000 jobs were lost in manufacturing, more than half of them in Abidjan.
Fig. 8.3 The urban structure of Abidjan (Source: based on DCGTx, Atlas des modes d'occupation des sols, état 1989, ADA, Abidjan, 1992)
During these 10 years, the employment market was so transformed that, in contrast with previous prosperous times, it is the so-called "informal" sectors of crafts, services, and small-scale trade that have assumed a dominant role. Up to 1978, although the gap between Abidjan's annual population growth rate of more than 10 per cent on average and the creation of modern jobs at 7 per cent per year resulted in the existence of an economic sector to accommodate those excluded from modern wage earning, informal employment had remained a minority sector in the city. It accounted for 40 per cent of total jobs in 1978, according to the Enquête budget-consommation (EBC), of which 32 per cent were self-employed people and small business owners, 7 per cent apprentices, and 2 per cent domestic workers. In 1980, there were 383,000 jobs in the formal/modern sector and 330,000 in the informal sector (de Miras, 1982). By 1988, according to the census, the economic activity rate had gone down to 42 per cent (compared with 59 per cent in 1978) and 58 per cent of those jobs were in the informal sector, within which the proportion of self-employed had grown from 32 to 41 per cent in 10 years. All data confirm this increase in crafts and small trade: according to the Direction et contrôle des grands travaux (DCGTx), in 1988, small businesses, street markets, and house-to-house sales accounted for 63 per cent of employment.
Are such activities a solution to the crisis? There is no indication to that effect, rather the contrary. Most of the literature available (de Miras, 1982; Oudin, 1985; Lootvoet, 1988; Dubresson, 1989) shows that the dynamism of crafts and small-scale trade depends largely on demand from the wage sector. The financial survival of craftsmen and small business usually depends on wage earnings, even if their seed capital rarely comes from such earnings. Most workshops and small shops rarely make sufficient surplus to function beyond simple reproduction levels, without real accumulation. Besides, production is not as well represented as services and trade, and those producers who do make a surplus scarcely ever reinvest it in production to increase the value of their fixed assets. Small-scale trade obviously enables young people excluded from the formal sector to become apprentices and gives many women access to money income, but it would be an illusion to believe that the informal sector can efficiently replace the formal sector and promote an accumulation process sufficient for a city with more than 2.5 million inhabitants.
Table 8.1 Population growth Abidjan, 1955-1991
|Year||Population||Annual rate of growth (%)|
Sources: Le Pape et al. (1992); DCGTx for 1991.
b. Revised figure - M. Le Pape, Historiens d'Abidjan, Chroniques du Sud 10,1993, pp. 6-15.
c. Revised figure produced by Statistical Office.
The development model in which extensive accumulation was based on plantations and state regulation of economic redistribution, of which Abidjan was such a dramatic example, has run its course. Once a formidable integrative machine, the "pearl of the lagoons" has today become a city of excluded people, with 15.7 per cent of its total economically active population and 22.4 per cent of its Ivoirian population unemployed in 1988.
From the focus of migration to decreasing population growth
Thirty years of rapid population growth
Abidjan had only 17,000 inhabitants in 1934 but witnessed a dramatic population growth after the Vridi channel was opened: 65,000 inhabitants in 1950, more than 125,000 in 1955, 950,000 in 1975, nearly 2 million in 1988 (table 8.1). From independence to the end of the 1980s, the annual rate of population growth remained at about 10 per cent and the city's population doubled approximately every seven years. As the natural population growth was little more than 3 per cent, the engine of growth came from migration: in 1978, only 35 per cent of the inhabitants had been born in the town, and these were mainly children; among the 15-59-year age groups only 1 in 10 had been born in Abidjan. Even in 1988, 59 per cent of residents had been born out of town.
Table 8.2 The composition of Abidjan's population, 1955-1988
Sources: Le Pape et al. (1992); 1975 census (RGP) and Antoine et al. (1987); 1988 census
a. Breakdown not available for revised total given in table 8.1.
Migrants from all parts of the country, but also from other West African countries, outnumbered the indigenous Ebrie people, who comprised 37 per cent of the city's inhabitants in 1936, 7 per cent in 1955, and only 2 per cent in 1988. The relative importance of different migration streams from outside the country has long been very important. Up to the end of the 1930s, better-educated Senegalese and Dahomey citizens were employed as clerks, workers, and craftsmen, making up a middle-class élite. Migrants from Upper Volta and the Sudan (Mali) were employed on large colonial development projects and the influx increased during the 1950s. The people coming to Abidjan thus came from a vast catchment area, including neighbouring states such as Upper Volta, the Sudan (Mali), the Gold Coast (Ghana), and Guinea, as well as distant countries such as Nigeria. In 1955, 44 per cent of the total city population were Africans from outside the country, while locals were a minority (table 8.2).
Since the 1960s, the non-indigenous population has steadily decreased (41 per cent in 1975, 38 per cent in 1988; table 8.2), but it has left a durable impact on the city's urban and social history. The arrival of many non-Africans, mostly French and Lebanese (over 8,000 in 1955, more than 48,000 in 1978), with considerable purchasing power stimulated the high-cost land and property market, and the growing demand from African in-migrants spurred on the rapid development of rental accommodation, which in turn was the engine for the local small-scale private sector building industry. This was also stimulated by the massive influx of local people flocking to the capital city after independence. All the main cultural groups of the Côte d'Ivoire are represented in Abidjan, and the hierarchy dividing Akan, Krou, Northern Mandé, Southern Mandé, and so-called Voltaic groups has hardly changed since 1955 (table 8.3). These migrants, who came in through various family, village, or regional networks (Gibbal, 1974), originated mainly from other towns to which they had migrated or where they were born. They were extremely mobile: 272,000 people arrived in Abidjan in 1978/79, but 192,00() people left town. These regular movements represent one of the features of the intensive traffic of people and goods between the rural and urban areas of the country (Chaléard and Dubresson, 1989). As a result, city people's practices, lives, and beliefs always reflect their town and village background. For many migrants, Abidjan is more than just an employment market, it is the site for putting into practice strategies to maintain or subvert village order; a refuge to express independence, in particular for the ever-increasing number of women who head households; and a battleground for individuals or groups engaged in political conflicts originating in their respective regions. In this vast intermixing, every family, clan, or village is or has been linked to the capital city, from where recession is now affecting all national chains of relationships.
Table 8.3 The African population in Abidjan, 1955-1988 (% of total population)
Source: Antoine et al. (1987) and RGPH, 1988.
a. Term describing groups from the north of Côte d'Ivoire.
Slower growth and city life in crisis
The annual population growth rate, which averaged 10-12 per cent per annum between 1960 and 1978, fell in the 1980s to 4-6 per cent per annum (table 8.1). Abidjan's population growth rate is now lower than that in middle-sized towns; the foreign non-African population is smaller than in 1975 (22,122 in 1988, 25,250 in 1975) but incorporating an underestimation of the number of Lebanese, whose actual number is unknown; and migration has slowed. The last phenomenon can be attributed to the decline of the formal waged sector, which has exacerbated labour market segmentation, increased competition for the few remaining jobs, and upset the social pyramid by generating downward socio-economic mobility.
In order to remain in the city during the recession, people must first be able to demonstrate their capacity to live there, which is possible for those who are "aligned" with a job but whose restricted buying power has led them to adopt crisis management practices, thus generating spatial mobility. These practices are meant to increase money income while decreasing domestic expenses. Income is generated by subletting parts of houses, by supplementary activities in crafts and small-scale trade, and by renegotiating marriage contracts to reallocate incomes from husbands' and wives' work to prevent a downgrading of households, particularly in relation to schooling. Decreases in domestic expenses are accomplished by changing residence, and sometimes the type of accommodation, with many locals moving to temporary housing quarters, sometimes to communal types of houses built from wood, where rents are lower. Economies are also achieved by decreasing the size of households, with children being sent back to attend primary school in the villages from which families had come, or even sent to secondary schools in other towns where it is less costly; by "inviting" relatives to go out to work or find alternative accommodation; and by sending wives, small children, or other inactive household members back to their villages of origin. These population transfers, as illustrated in the literature (Faussey-Domalain and Vimard, 1991), are dependent on the wage-earners' ages and their status in the extended family, both of which influence the scope for decreasing the size of a household (Vidal and Le Pape, 1986).
Those who lose a paid job have to move into something new or leave the city. However, there is nothing to prove that the majority of indigenous people actually return to their original villages, because the land question has become more and more controversial and the state-engineered programmes to send young school drop-outs back to the land have yielded only poor results (Affou Yapi, 1990). It appeared from the 1988 census that towns with 20,000-40,000 inhabitants were growing rapidly, and small urban centres kept on growing through the 1980s. Thus a new urban configuration is appearing, with small and medium-sized towns welcoming back "locals" and others excluded from the Abidjan employment market, as will perhaps be confirmed by the 1993 migration study, whose results were still not known in 1995. Many foreigners are leaving, in particular those from Burkina-Faso who were adversely affected by the disappearance of large public projects and the decrease in domestic workers' positions owing to the departure of European expatriates. Abidjan's fertility rate has remained rather high (6.41 in 1980/81 according to the Enquête ivoirienne de fécondité and 4.74 in 1988 according to the census), but population growth rates are no longer supplemented by massive arrivals, so that the city is not growing at the rate envisaged by its planning authorities in the 1970s. In 1992 it was estimated that, at constant rates of fertility and migration, Abidjan should have 3.3 million inhabitants in 2003, 5.9 million in 2018, and 8.9 million in 2028 (INS, 1992).
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