By Deborah Potts, Deborah Fahy Bryceson
Are Africa's so much populous and economically dominant towns a strength to reckon with within the twenty-first century? This e-book analyzes the economies of East and Southern Africa's 'apex' towns, probing how they've got altered structurally over the years and their present resources of monetary power and vulnerability at neighborhood, nationwide and overseas degrees. Case learn chapters targeting Johannesburg, Chitungwiza, Gaborone, Maputo, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa, Nairobi, Kampala and Mogadishu shed new mild on modern African city clients and difficulties.
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Extra info for African Urban Economies: Viability, Vitality or Vitiation?
During the colonial period, cities in this region were not intended for permanent African settlement. A circular labour migration system based on bachelor rather than family wages prevailed in most of the capital cities, which was overturned gradually in country after country from the late 1940s onwards. In South Africa, the apartheid system prolonged the racial zoning of Africans by race, space and occupation, being finally toppled in the early 1990s. The impermanence and open-endedness of African residence in cities and the recourse to rural livelihood activities, leisure-time pursuits and aspirations have characterized the apex cities for several decades and have, in some cases, been strengthened by urban economic crises and the need to straddle urban and rural resource bases.
A. 16 Urban households, during the 1960s and early 1970s, were comparatively secure with the family wage serving as their economic anchor in the city. The establishment of a minimum wage at a level considered sufficient to support a worker and his immediate family was a landmark in the development of East African cities. Colonial-enforced bachelor wage earnings had necessitated male circular migration, locationally dividing families and circumscribing the enjoyment of family life (Chapter 8). Urban migrants coming of age just after independence, by contrast, experienced rising wage levels and job availability in urban areas as nation-states embarked on their quest for economic development (Chapter 7).
As Kariuki and Nelson (Chapter 8) documents, the subsequent generations’ lifestyles and values do not necessarily reflect, and often ignore or even reject, rural perspectives. Infrastructural inadequacies are rife in the apex cities under review, especially in East Africa. They stand in the way of the smooth pursuit of livelihoods of high- medium- and low-income households and discourage domestic and direct foreign investment in enterprise. While post-independent national governments intended overseeing the development of a 32 Introduction functioning urban infrastructure, most were hard-hit by the international oil crisis and the debt crisis that followed.
African Urban Economies: Viability, Vitality or Vitiation? by Deborah Potts, Deborah Fahy Bryceson