Challenging the Myths of Urban Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Evidence from Nigeria
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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- 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.
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- Fay, Marianne & Opal, Charlotte, 2000. "Urbanization without growth : a not-so-uncommon phenomenon," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2412, The World Bank.
- Tiffen, Mary, 2003. "Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Agriculture, Urbanization and Income Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1343-1366, August.
- Cris Beauchemin & Philippe Bocquier, 2003. "Migration and urbanization in francophone west Africa a review of the recent empirical evidence," Working Papers DT/2003/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
- Satterthwaite, David, 2010. "Urban Myths and the Mis-use of Data that Underpin them," WIDER Working Paper Series 028, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Philippe Bocquier, 2005. "World Urbanization Prospects," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 12(9), pages 197-236, May.
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