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Challenging the Myths of Urban Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Evidence from Nigeria

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  • Potts, Deborah
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    Abstract

    The evidence from censuses and satellite imagery is increasing that the rate at which many countries are becoming more urban in sub-Saharan Africa has slowed or is even stagnating. This has major policy implications. Many standard reviews of the region still, however, tend to maintain that urbanization is occurring rapidly but, as this paper demonstrates, the data used are frequently erroneous. Such errors are exacerbated by a lack of reasonable estimates of the size and growth of towns in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous country with the region’s most complex urban system. This paper also attempts to address this knowledge gap and shows how Nigeria’s level of urbanization has also been significantly over-estimated.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 1382-1393

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:7:p:1382-1393

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    Keywords: sub-Saharan Africa; Nigeria; urbanization; migration; urban livelihoods; urban economies;

    References

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    1. Cohen, Barney, 2004. "Urban Growth in Developing Countries: A Review of Current Trends and a Caution Regarding Existing Forecasts," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 23-51, January.
    2. Satterthwaite, David, 2010. "Urban Myths and the Mis-use of Data that Underpin them," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Working Paper W, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Tiffen, Mary, 2003. "Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Agriculture, Urbanization and Income Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1343-1366, August.
    4. Gugler, Josef, 1991. "Life in a dual system revisited: Urban-rural ties in Enugu, Nigeria, 1961-87," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 399-409, May.
    5. Martin Brockerhoff, 1999. "Urban Growth in Developing Countries: A Review of Projections and Predictions," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(4), pages 757-778.
    6. Fay, Marianne & Opal, Charlotte, 2000. "Urbanization without growth : a not-so-uncommon phenomenon," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2412, The World Bank.
    7. Beauchemin, Cris & Bocquier, Philippe, 2004. "Migration and Urbanization in Francophone West Africa: A review of the recent empirical evidence," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/4536, Paris Dauphine University.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hazell, Peter B.R., 2012. "Elmhirst Lecture, 27th International Conference of Agricultural Economists, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil August 2012 : Options for African Agriculture in an Era of High Food and Energy Prices," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 127070, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Fox, Sean, 2014. "The Political Economy of Slums: Theory and Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 191-203.

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