Town planning rose to the status of an important activity of the state throughout the world during the inter-war years. In Africa, planning asserted its prominence during the heydays of colonialism. Concomitant with this development was the crystallization of a set of ideas and propositions that bore the hallmarks of an ideology – the planning ideology. This ideology provides an excellent backdrop against which to evaluate colonial town planning projects. To understand the importance of ideology in this context we must fi rst appreciate the nature and function of ideology and its place in the context of planning or public policy. Ideology provides a philosophic basis and helps us to identify the means and ends of town planning.