Small Town Africa: Studies in Rural-Urban Interaction

This volume contains the papers read at a seminar on Small Town Africa - Studies in Rural-Urban Interaction, which was arranged by the Scandinavian Institute of African studies in Uppsala in September 1989. Small towns have often been considered as unimportant or even as anomalous phenomena and consequently have been largely ignored by policy makers and researchers. Instead, attention has been focussed on the large city or on rural development and agricultural change without consideration being given to the positive contribution that small towns can make to rural transformation. But for the overwhelming majority of Africa's population which is rural, it is the small town with which they have the most frequent and intense contacts and which provides the foci for economic, social, political and cultural rural-urban interaction. The papers in this book address a wide range of issues relating to the small town in rural context from both the macro perspective, including the role of the state, to the micro perspective where attention is given to the vitality and adaptability of individual actors through their utilization of rural and urban opportunities. Case studies are drawn from Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.