The institutions of land use planning in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa have come of age. For more than 40 years, the received colonial town planning laws and associated regulations have guided urban land development processes in the region. In spite of the problems of ‘illegal’ developments and delays in the procedures for obtaining land and development rights, no economic assessment of the system of land use planning in Africa seems to have been attempted. This paper analyses the impact of land use planning on urban development and examines the incentive structure of the political market of planning in the cities of sub-Saharan Africa. The objective is to identify the institutional weakness of land use planning in the region. The paper concludes that it would appear the system of land use planning in sub-Saharan Africa operates in such a way that allows the externalisation of costs onto those actors of the society whose interests are not sufficiently represented within the land use planning system. (RICS
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