ments without basic environmental and sanitation infrastructure where filth and squalor pose serious health threats (Black, 1994). 3. The causes of urbanisation The major factors accounting for today’s rapid urbanisation in Africa are natural increase in the population and rural–urban migration. These factors interacting together are causing unprecedented rates of urbanisation in the history of the African continent. 3.1. Population Growth The natural increase in the population is the result of improvements in medical health care and disease control (Black, 1994). In Africa, natural increase accounted for 75% of urban growth between 1960 and 1990 (Brokerhoff, 2000; 18). Between 1995 and 2000, natural increase accounted for 52% of the increase in urban growth in East Africa, 51% in Southern Africa, and 59% in West Africa (United Nations Centre for Human Settle- ment 2001). Many sub-Saharan Africa countries have population growth rates of 3% per annum, the highest in any region of the world (Table I). Advances in medical health care have drastically reduced the incidence of infectious diseases including malaria and tuberculosis which in the past Table I. Population growth rates in selected sub-Saharan African Countries (1980–1995). Country Birth rate per 1000 people Date rate per 1000 people Average annual population growth 1980 1995 1980 1995 1985–1990 (%) Benin 49 43 19 15 3.0 Ghana 45 37 15 10 3.0 Madagascar 46 41 16 11 3.1 Niger 51 52 23 19 3.2 Nigeria 50 42 18 13 2.9 Senegal 46 40 20 14 2.8 Angola 50 49 23 19 3.0 Botswana 48 34 14 12 3.0 Cote d’Ivoire 51 37 16 12 3.4 Djibouti 48 46 20 16 4.8 Gambia, The 48 41 24 18 4.0 Source: Soubbotina and Sheram, (2000). 467 URBANISATION WITHOUT DEVELOPMENT
have been the major causes of death in Africa. There have been major reductions in infant mortality, thereby assuring the survival of many infants to the age of 5. Declining death rates resulting from improvements in medical health care, in the face of high birth rates, has almost resulted in a population explosion on the continent. The process of urbanisation and detribalisation and the inﬂuence of western cultural precepts on the urban populations, particularly the youth, have led to breakdowns in tradi- tional norms on sexuality leading to increased premarital sexuality (Villar- real, 1998). The frequent teenage pregnancies in cities are a consequence of this behaviour. The situation is further worsened by strong cultural belief in the security that children provide parents in their old age and children’s contribution to household income. The increase in rural populations has created pressure on land and a subsequent reduction in farmland in rural areas. Table II illustrates the status of population and land availability in sub-regions in sub-Saharan Africa in 1994. In many areas, holdings are not economical even under intensive forms of agriculture (White, 1989). Agri- cultural potential in many of the former homelands in South Africa has declined due to rapid growth in rural populations and subsequent reduc- tions in farmland. Farmers in Bophuthatswana harvested 110 kg of maize Table II. Population and land resource in sub-regions in sub-Saharan Africa (1994).
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