MOOC: Financing Infrastructure in African Cities

Starts April 17
African Cities

This MOOC is developed by IHS in collaboration with  United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa), African Local Governments Academy (ALGA) and Erasmus University Rotterdam and it is part of a series of MOOCs on urban development in African cities. The course is available on

Course trailer

MOOC: Financing Infrastructure in African Cities

Course description

The world is urbanizing fast. In less than a century more than 1 billion people have been urbanized. That translates into the fact that more than half of the world’s population is already living in cities. Experts forecast that very soon Africa will become one of the most urbanized continents. However, almost 70% of world’s urban population is living in the cities where governments are struggling to provide basic services like sanitation, schools, hospitals, and adequate clean water.

The reason is that, their governments do not have enough money. This may also be true also for the city where you live or work. Poor infrastructure affects your daily life. Local governments struggle with mobilizing finances so that they can improve your quality of life but many times they are not aware of the right mechanisms. Imagine that your government wants to know how can they finance cities and they want you to advise – where will you begin with? Our finance experts are bringing their experience right at your desk through this MOOC. This MOOC has five modules and in five weeks you will learn:

  • Financial decision making environment in urban systems; 
  • Mechanisms for mobilizing local revenues;
  • Innovative mechanisms for financing infrastructure projects through partnerships, and; 
  • Financial decision making under uncertainties and risks We will provide you a carefully selected set of literature, quizzes and interactive discussion forums. 

Course objectives

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • identify the significance and role of Urban Local Body (ULB) in their own city
  • identify main source of current income for an Urban Local Body (ULB) and all participants will be able to identify mechanisms and approach for optimizing local revenues of an Urban Local Body (ULB)
  • identify different mechanisms under which an Urban Local Body (ULB) can raise money for financing urban infrastructure in their city
  • apply decision making tools (CBA and MCA) at different levels of decision making in financing urban infrastructure projects
  • apply all the lessons learned during the MOOC into the context of their own city/country respectively


Jaap Spronk, Professor of Financial Management Science, Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Meine Pieter van Dijk, Professor of Urban Management in Emerging Economies, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)
Somesh Sharma, Expert, Environment and Sustainable Development Planning, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)
Bernadette Ssanyu, Head of the Architecture and Building Services unit, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)

How can I join this course?

The course will be available on Coursera from the 5th of February. The sign-up is free, but you will need to create a Coursera account if you wish to participate.

Photo credit: FCG

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