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Exploring the rapid urbanisation of the oil rich developing countries in Africa
and its drivers: The case of Nigeria

SMART, LILIAN,NWANYISONDE (2018) Exploring the rapid urbanisation of the oil rich developing countries in Africa
and its drivers: The case of Nigeria.
Masters thesis, Durham University.

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The rate of urbanisation in many countries of the world, and especially in Africa, has been unprecedented in recent times. Perhaps most spectacularly, as these countries urbanise some of their cities very quickly emerge and qualify as ‘mega-cities’. According to Davis’s predictions from the 1950s (Davis, 1955), this rapid urbanisation has led to urbanity gradually taking over rurality. While there is a consensus among scholars that the world has now reached its ‘urban age’, there is no comparable consensus with regard to the drivers of this urbanisation. Further to this point, this study investigates the urbanisation of the oil-rich developing countries in Africa using Nigeria as a case study. The primary aim is to explore what accounts for the unique characteristics of urbanism in Nigeria, thus helping to enhance our overall understanding of the urbanisation of the oil-rich developing countries in Africa. The study empirically analyses published literature, drawing insight from the findings to discuss extensively the theories of urbanisation including historically grounded, demographic, economistic and postcolonial urbanism, while also highlighting the factors that drive urbanisation in these countries. This literature demonstrates that colonialism and the availability of oil resources are the dominant drivers of urbanisation in these countries. Drawing from the economistic theory of urbanisation and Garth Myers African Cities Thesis (postcolonial urbanism) (Myers, 2011), the study mainly shows that the creation of 36 states and the impact of capital, oil, and colonialism contributed immensely to the urbanisation of Nigeria. The explanation put forward is that the influx of the oil wealth to Nigeria which altered the local economic base from a primarily agricultural one to one dependent on the extractive economy, together with colonialism facilitated its urbanisation. This study, therefore, argues that oil and colonial factors accelerated the rate of the urbanisation of Nigeria through migration from the rural to the urban areas. Thus, substantial investments in labour-intensive industries, agricultural development, enhanced educational policies and capacity building need to be prioritised in Nigeria’s development policies to harness economic growth from this rapid urbanisation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:Oil, migration, rapid urbanisation and its drivers, developing countries (Africa), Nigeria.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Jul 2018 08:06

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