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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research (EJDR)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)72-94
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Urbanisation in rural regions, Settlement growth, Agricultural valuechain dynamics, Migration, Tanzania

ID: 209292818