Rural Transformation and the Emergence of Urban Centres in Tanzania

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportRapportForskning


Urbanization and rural transformation in the Global South can be conceptualized and explored as integrated processes. Recent academic debates have discussed how rural places are changing in close relation to economic and social processes where the distinction between rural and urban livelihoods and economic dynamics are changing. In this paper we aim at understanding how social and spatial transformation of dynamic rural regions is driving spatial concentration and urbanization. We are particularly concerned with the processes of spatial change, verbalized as the emergence of urban centres in rural areas. Emerging Urban Centers (EUCs) are characterized by rapid population growth related to continuous and diverse flows of migrants from rural hinterlands and more detached rural locations. Many of these centers are also characterized by economic dynamics related to agricultural sector activities that have been stimulated by Tanzanian market liberalizations and its long term effects on private enterprise. The paper is based on a study of four EUCs in Tanzania (Ilula, Igowole, Madizini and Kibaigwa) and seeks to answer three major research questions: 1) What economic and spatial trends, including national policies, have formed the pathway for rural transformation and early densification towards the emergence of urban centers in Tanzania? In answering this we outline the roles of villagization and state driven economic policies, followed in the early 1990s by the liberalization that leads to a new intensification of crop cultivation and crop specific value chain dynamics. 2) What characterize the relationship between value chain dynamics and rural densification? This is explored by an analysis that focuses on two urban centers that have developed around agro-processing, and two centers that have developed as market places for sale of a dominant crop. In all four cases, new employment opportunities have been created in the value chain sequence of economic activities and the influx of migrant works have increased significantly. 3) How do migration and investments contribute to the consolidation of EUCs as places of attraction beyond the crop dynamics? In doing this we examine how EUCs have become places of attraction that act as important migrant destination for short term and long term migrants. Related to this we also explore how local economic dynamics diversify and form new specialization that create opportunities for investments and investors, of whom many are migrants. This development has been supported by structural changes within the EUCs making them important administrative and service centers. The paper ends by discussing how the intertwinement of rural transformation and urbanization processes form spatial densification in rural areas and towards the conclusion it is suggested that these spatial transformations call for adequate governance that acknowledge the EUCs’ urban reality.
Bidragets oversatte titelRural transformation og fremkomsten af små bycentre i Tanzania
ForlagDepartment of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen
Antal sider34
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-87-7903-771-7
StatusUdgivet - 2017
NavnIGN Report
Vol/bindOctober 2017

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