Sustainable Development in Ijebu-Ode, Nigeria: The Role of Social Capital, Participation, and Science and Technology

CID Faculty Working Paper No. 102

Akin L. Mabogunje and Robert W. Kates
January 2004


Sustainable development as an aspiration is global; as an ongoing process, it is local. A growing number of scientists and technologists share in the aspiration and experiment with the local. Here we report one such effort in Ijebu-Ode, a small city of 200,000 inhabitants in south-west Nigeria, which, through a participatory city consultation process chose to reduce poverty through a set of local and sustainable livelihood activities. Now four years into the effort, we describe the setting, the participatory process, the poverty reduction activities, and the impressive results to date. We attribute the success to date to the large stock of social capital, the participatory process that drew upon this stock, and the scientific and technological community that both serve as boundary spanners to link Ijebu-Ode to the national and the global and as a resource for local technologies and advice.

Keywords: Africa, Nigeria, sustainable development, social capital, participation, science and technology

JEL subject codes: H1, I38, N57 Q01, Z13