Are charter cities the way forward for South Africa?

New-growth economist Paul Romer introduced the concept of charter cities in a Ted Talk in 2011.

The premise is that instead of further developing existing cities to accommodate population growth, new cities would be built governed by new rules to boost business development, allowed by the granting of special jurisdiction.

But is this the solution for the cities of the future in Africa?

Bongani Bingwa chats to Charter Cities Institute founder and executive director Dr Mark Lutter and communications lead Tamara Winter.

A charter city is the future of development in Africa and elsewhere. It is a new city that has special jurisdiction that will allow it to adopt rules to improve the business environment.

Tamara Winter, Communications lead - Charter Cities Institute

Lutter says this model is already working in places like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Looking at Hong Kong and Singapore - in 1960 both countries had a per capita income of $500. Singapore is the only country in the world that didn't want to be a country and it was kicked out of Malaysia. Now both of them are global centres of wealth and this is because they had legal systems that encouraged investors, this model is replicable in Africa.

Dr Mark Lutter, Founder and executive director - Charter Cities Institute

Listen below to the full conversation:


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