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Int J Sociol Soc Policy. 1984;4(2):1-16.

The impact of rapid population growth, expanding urbanisation, and other factors on development in sub-Saharan Africa: the contrasting responses of Tanzania and Kenya.



This article analyzes the impact of the twin factors of rapid population growth and expanding urbanization on social and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa and compares policies that have been developed in Tanzania and Kenya in response to these factors. The principal consequences of overpopulation and overurbanization have been economic stagnation and physical and cultural malaise in urban population centers. Between 1960-80, per capita incomes in 19 countries of sub-Saharan Africa grew by less than 1%/year and 15 countries recorded a negative rate of growth in per capita income during the 1970s. Urban populations have increased at at overall rate of 6%/year as sub-Saharan Africans have migrated to cities in search of employment. Few national governments in the region have formulated longterm strategies to deal effectively with this double-faceted development constraint or have integrated new urban populations into the national economy. tanzania's development strategy is focused on the goals of socialism, rural development, and self-reliance. Urban development has remained a residual item in Tanzania's national development process, despite the fact that the urban population increased from 5.7% of the total population in 1967 to 12.7% in 1978 and is projected to comprise 24.7% by the year 2000. In contrast, Kenya, whose proportion of urban population increased from 9% to 15% between 1962 and 1979, has pursued an urban-focused development strategy. The strong urban-rural linkages of the economy have focused migration to the secondary towns. The national development plan includes urban spatial, employment, and investment policies. Although this plan constitutes a good basis for future planning, the magnitude of the urban problem is beyond the capabilities of the central government and requires the development of local capabilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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