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The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 72–94 | Cite as

Urbanisation in Rural Regions: The Emergence of Urban Centres in Tanzania

  • Evelyne Lazaro
  • Jytte AgergaardEmail author
  • Marianne Nylandsted Larsen
  • Jeremia Makindara
  • Torben Birch-Thomsen
Special Issue Article
  • 39 Downloads

Abstract

This paper focusses on urbanisation in rural regions of Africa, and in particular on the type of settlement growth that occurs not in proximity to, but rather disassociated from, existing urban centres. What characterises such settlements is that they are generally not acknowledged as urban entities, but are involved in an administrative process in which they form part of a larger entity that is about to be given urban administrative status; to capture this process, the concept of emerging urban centres is suggested. The empirical analysis focusses on how rural Tanzania is urbanising. By comparing four different growth trajectories, it is illustrated how settlement growth varies due to different pre-conditions and due to specific dynamics of crop value chains. It is also shown how migration to the settlements and the establishment of businesses are part of this growth and gradually occur detached from the crop value-chain dynamics. In conclusion, it is identified how these developments produce challenges to existing governance systems, and finally it is discussed how the findings provide new insights into debates on rural transformation and the fuzzy distinction between rurality and urbanity.

Keywords

Urbanisation in rural regions Settlement growth Agricultural value-chain dynamics Migration Tanzania 

Résumé

L'article se concentre sur le processus d'urbanisation dans les régions rurales en Afrique. Il se concentre sur le type de croissance des agglomérations, qui ne se produit pas à proximité, mais plutôt de façon dissociée, des centres urbains existants. Ce qui caractérise ces agglomérations, c'est qu'elles ne sont généralement pas reconnues comme des entités urbaines, mais sont impliquées dans un processus administratif dans lequel elles font partie d'une entité plus vaste sur le point de se voir attribuer un statut administratif urbain et pour refléter ce processus, le concept de centres urbains émergents (CUE) est suggéré. L'analyse empirique porte sur le processus d'urbanisation de la Tanzanie rurale. En comparant quatre trajectoires de croissance différentes, nous montrons comment la croissance des agglomérations varie en raison de conditions préalables différentes et de la dynamique spécifique des chaînes de valeur des cultures. Nous montrons également que la migration vers ces agglomérations et la création d'entreprises font partie de cette croissance et se produisent peu à peu, indépendamment de la chaîne de valeur des cultures. En conclusion, il a été déterminé que ces évolutions posaient des problèmes aux systèmes de gouvernance existants et, enfin, nous échangeons sur la façon dont les résultats ont permis de mieux éclairer les débats sur la transformation rurale et la distinction floue entre ruralité et urbanité.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Consultative Research Committee for Development Research under the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs under grant no. 09-P11-Tanzania. This research was a component of the research project ‘Rural–Urban Complementarities for the Reduction of Poverty (RUCROP): Identifying the Contribution of Savings and Credit Facilities’. Further insights on governance aspects were obtained through a research project ‘Rural–Urban Transformation (RUT): Economic Dynamics, Mobility and Governance of Emerging Urban Centers for Poverty Reduction’ under grant no. 13-P02-TAN. The project is coordinated through the School of Agricultural Economics and Business Studies, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania and implemented in partnership with the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Section for Geography, University of Copenhagen. We would like to thank the research participants in the four study sites.

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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Agricultural Economics and Business StudiesSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  2. 2.Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Section for GeographyUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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