Perspectives on Migration, Urbanisation and Development in Two "New" African Cities: Trends, Dynamics and Post-Colonial Implications

Akachi C. Odoemene, Redeemer's University
Okezie Odoemene, University of Ibadan

Enugu and Port Harcourt, ‘new towns’ of tropical Africa which arose as a result of contact with Europe, are unique cities with historical connections. They witnessed ‘unprecedented’ population growth, radical cosmopolitanism and dramatic urbanisation from their colonial origins and well into the post-colonial era. These had, however, been fuelled by different passions and circumstances, and have equally had different impacts and implications on the cities’ development, peoples and relations among them. This paper explores migration, urbanisation and development trends in Enugu and Port Harcourt from a comparative perspective. It interrogates the transitions of the cities from origins, and the dynamics of urban development that engendered change, expansion and growth. It points to the influences of the global economy (the colliery, railway, seaport and petrobusiness) as the prime driving forces of these trends, while the diverse impacts and implications were shown as pervasive, significant and different for each city.

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Presented in Session 29: Urbanization