Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 290732
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: Denmark

Final Report Summary - RURBANAFRICA (African Rural-City Connections)

Executive Summary:
Africa currently has a low proportion of its population living in cities and towns. This is rapidly changing, however, and by the middle of this century it is predicted that the majority of Africans will be urban residents. Understanding the connections between rural areas and cities is thus vital for planning for the future needs of the residents of sub-Saharan African countries. For this purpose, the overall objective of the African Rural-City Connections (RurbanAfrica) project has been to explore the connections between rural transformations, mobility, and urbanization processes and analyze how these contribute to an understanding of the scale, nature and location of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. This has included critically scrutinizing the assumption that migration from rural areas to cities is one of the major development challenges faced by national and local governments in their efforts to stimulate economic growth and curb poverty. The project has been in operation from April 2012 to March 2016 and has focused on four sub-Saharan African countries: Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda and Tanzania. Research was led by the University of Copenhagen and organized into four thematic work packages; Agricultural Transformation, Rural Livelihoods, City Dynamics, and Access to Services; and two work packages working on dissemination and policy dialogues and management and syntheses. Analyses of secondary data, collection of empirical data and work package wise analyses have been undertaken with similar methodologies in all countries and facilitated comparisons at various levels. The RurbanAfrica research has developed insights into how rural-urban connections form social transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was found that rural transformation as it develops in dynamic rural regions, as has been the focus of the empirical research, clearly interacts with urbanization and urban-based economies through e.g. urban-rural investments. This clearly interacts with increasingly multi-local livelihood arrangements, multi-directional migration flows and the formation of small urban centres (located in rural regions). With a focus of the primary and a secondary city in each country it has been shown that urban growth is increasingly driven by natural growth rather than migration, meaning that rural-urban connections are less tangible and unidirectional than popular assumptions prescribe. However, generally secondary cities have more direct demographic and economic connections with rural hinterland regions than primate cities, but this vary, depending on e.g. matters such as the size and growth of the city, their ordained roles in the national planning system, and roles in servicing agricultural/resource value chains. These insights relate to the availability and appraisals of services such as water, sanitation, electricity, transport and mobile telephony which shall not only serve the low-income areas often located in the centre of the cities, but also the periphery of the cities where relocation for homeownership purposes of people and families from the centre of the city dominates. Policy research and consultations show that despite documentations of the intimate relationships between urbanization dynamics and rural transformations, these complex links are poorly mirrored in governance and planning at national and local levels, which continues to be dominated by sectoral policies that leaves ’rural-urban linkages’ to remain a policy grey area. Thus, the RurbanAfrica research has accentuated the need for a new governance architecture and insights from each case study and across case country comparisons shall advance current (global) policy debates on territorial development, sustainable housing and urbanization, and UNs new Sustainable Development Goals.

Project Context and Objectives:
Africa currently has a low proportion of its population living in cities and towns. This is rapidly changing, however, and by the middle of this century it is predicted that the majority of Africans will be urban residents. This is largely the consequence of overall development trends, and the spatial concentration of people and enterprises is an integral part of economic growth in most of the world. It is also the consequence of major transformations in agriculture, with production systems becoming increasingly linked to global markets. Thus, agriculture continues to be an important economic engine and provides occupation either directly or indirectly to larger factions of the population. Agriculture not only generates important export earnings in many countries but also provides essential foodstuffs for both rural and urban populations.
Knowledge of the ways in which agricultural production systems are changing in a globalizing world is central to an understanding of rural livelihoods and rural poverty reduction. Part of this development is that rural residents have become more and more connected to urban areas and activities and vice versa. Even though mobility tends to be underreported due to the way in which data is collected, it is a central strategy for many households in their attempts to stay above the poverty line. Thus, rural-urban migration is an integral part of urban growth in most of SSA although it has been disputed whether there linear and general relationship between the growth of larger cities and then rural-urban migration can be documented: it is argued that natural growth, re-classifications and counter-urbanizations are all factors that contribute to the production of more complex trends in urbanization and city growth At the same time, a majority of African governments express dissatisfaction with the distribution of their population, and have policies to reduce migrant flows to the large cities. There is certainly a widespread feeling that overly rapid urbanization in much of the region is a major cause for the increase in urban poverty and the growth of slums. Thus, rural and urban governance is challenged not only by the actual social and geographical transformations taking place, but also by political preferences, visions and neglects.
Understanding the connections between rural areas and cities is thus vital for planning for the future needs of the residents of sub-Saharan African countries. For this purpose, the overall objective of the African Rural-City Connections (RurbanAfrica) project has been to explore the connections between rural transformations, mobility, and urbanization processes and analyze how these contribute to an understanding of the scale, nature and location of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. This has included critically scrutinizing the assumption that migration from rural areas to cities is one of the major development challenges faced by national and local governments in their efforts to stimulate economic growth and curb poverty. This overall objective has been met by obtaining an improved understanding of:
1. How agricultural transformation and socio-economic dynamics in rural areas marked by different forms of commoditization and land tenure systems interact with rural-urban resource flows
2. The impacts of agricultural transformations and city dynamics on rural livelihoods, especially with regard to access to resources, income diversification and mobility, and how these relate to emerging patterns of inequalities and rural poverty
3. How city growth and urbanization processes reflect socio-economic and demographic change, failures as well as successes in rural development, and how this impacts on urban economies and livelihoods
4. How the dynamics of urban poverty relate to the nexus of rural-urban linkages and how this impacts on access to services in urban low-income areas
5. How regional, national and local policies and knowledge environments address rural-city connections in relation to poverty reduction, and how new insights into these issues can stimulate policy dialogue and research capacity, in particular across the sub-Saharan region
The RurbanAfrica project has focused on four sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries: Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda and Tanzania. The selection of case countries was based on the ambition to account for diverse sub-Saharan African national experiences of rural-city connections and developmental pathways to curb poverty. Although it is questionable whether any sub-Saharan African country can represent a particular sub-Saharan African sub-region with regard to rural-city connections, it was nevertheless assumed that each of the case countries could act as illustrative cases for diversities and similarities in rural-city connections across the SSA region and act as sub-regional entry points for policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and dissemination to their respective SSA sub-region.
Research was organized into four thematic work packages (WPs): WP1, Agricultural transformation and rural dynamics; WP2, Rural livelihoods, income diversification and mobility; WP3, City Dynamics; and WP4, Access to services in low-income city communities. In addition to the four thematic WPs the integrated work with dissemination of research and policy dialogues was undertaken by two WPs: WP5, Knowledge platform and policy dialogue; and WP6, RurbanAfrica synthesis, dissemination and project management.
Research has been divided into three main phases of research. During the first phase, the four thematic work packages (WP) were focusing on developing state-of-the-art analyses of rural and urban transformations across the Sub-Saharan region and the Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Tanzania. For each work package, separate reports were developed for each country on the basis of which overall synthesis reports for each WP were developed and presented to the EC.
During the second phase WP1-4 embarked on empirical data collection and analyses of rural and urban transformations in cities, where data collection was coordinated between WP1 and 2 and WP3 and 4 respectively. Empirically, WP1 and WP2 have focussed on ‘dynamic rural areas’ that because of the prevalence of a dominant crop to various degrees and different ways shape a vigorous socio-economic dynamism in the particular research site. The rationale for the interest in dynamic rural areas is caused by the observation that recent agricultural transformation processes are taking place as a consequence of the increasing globalisation of African agricultural production. In each African country 2-3 research sites, were selected and for each of the sites (cases) 2-4 villages were included (see table 1). Each case study consists of a survey of households in the selected research sites. The selection of research sites as well as the planning and implementation of the survey took place in close collaboration with colleagues engaged in WP2 ‘Rural livelihoods’ in order to ensure validity and coordinate the collection of survey data in the most efficient way. A common standard questionnaire was developed to include relevant questions for both WP1 and WP2. The survey data was supplemented by focus group discussions, key informant interviews, etc. and have been followed up by structured interviews with rural investors, land ceding persons, and key informants.

Please see Table 1: WP1 and WP2 – Research sites in the attached version of the Final Report (PDF) pages 5-6.

Empirically, WP3 and WP4 have focussed on two cities within each of the project countries: the largest city and a rapidly growing intermediate-sized city (see table 2); the rationale being that it is essential to understand the dynamics of the largest city in order to understand the factors driving urban growth within a country but that only studying this city would result in a misleading picture. Conducting a similar study in a second smaller but still rapidly growing city facilitates an exploration of city dynamics in an intermediate-sized city and enables comparisons with the major city and the other intermediate cities in the project. Within each city up to five residential areas were studied in order to cover a range of types of neighborhoods. These included older and newer areas, a range of income levels, differing locations within the city, and differing types of population.
The primary data collection method was qualitative interviewing. In particular, three key methods were used: focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews and in-depth interviews. While these can be employed as ‘stand-alone methods’, we used them in combination in the selected areas in order to draw on their respective strengths. While there is no formula to calculate the ideal number of qualitative interviews in a study, we adopted a target sample size of at least 100 one to one interviews (i.e. semi-structured and in-depth) and 15 focus group interviews per city. The country teams each decided the precise distribution of the interviews across the selected areas within the cities. Additionally, WP4 was exploring how mobile telephony is used and valued by city dwellers as a service and how mobile telephony is instrumental in keeping urban-rural connections.

Please see Table 2: WP3 and WP 4 – Selected Cities in the attached version of the Final Report (PDF) page 6.

During the third and final phase of research, WP1 and 2 have first separately collected qualitative data in order to explain in more depth how the agricultural transformation functions and the dynamics rural livelihoods changes, and how these processes interact with rural-urban connections. Additionally, WP1 and 2 have jointly analyzed the policy implications of agricultural transformations, livelihoods and rural-city connections for regional development. During the third period, policy implications have also been central to the work of WP3. For this, analyses of current city plans have been put in conversation with the identified city dynamics identified in the 2nd period of research. This has been reported to national and international stakeholders in separate Urban Policy Briefs for Ghana, Cameroon and Tanzania. Likewise, WP4 has focused on the planning-policy interface with a focus on governance of urban services.
Through all three phases of research WP5 has been concerned essentially with engagement with policy debates at national and global levels around the issues investigated under work packages 1-4. At the national level, policy dialogues were organised and led by the country teams in Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania (and for the first round of dialogues, Rwanda). This was a deliberate effort, based on three points: first, the recognition that African partners in the RurbanAfrica project are more likely than international (European) partners to be familiar with ongoing national policy issues and debates; second, that this would help them develop a coherent analysis of the different components of the project within each country; and third, that their engagement with local and national policy dialogues is more likely to influence policy formulation by feeding in findings from the research project. The second round of policy dialogues discussing the findings of the project were completed in Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania in March 2016, and their reports fed into the fourth Policy Brief. At the global level, researchers engaged in the project have contributed to the renewed interest in rural-urban linkages spurred by the SDGs and discussions around the New Urban Agenda and the preparation for Habitat III. These debates, and the challenges and opportunities they present, are discussed in the third Policy Brief out of four Policy Briefs in total produced in collaboration between WP5 and 6.

The preceding description of the background for the project and its overall objectives and approach has shown that the Rwandan case study hasn’t been fully executed. Due to unforeseen challenges, data collection in the second phase of research was delayed. Thus, the collected data have not been fully implemented in syntheses reports and therefore it was not possible to undertake the policy dialogues and related work of phase three in Rwanda.

Project Results:
This section of the report shall describe the overall results from the research that has been conducted in relation to the four scientific work packages: WP1, WP2, WP3 and WP4. For clarity and overview we shall report on each of the work packages separately. Thus, this description of results focusses mainly on the overall results while the country based studies include much more richness on country or region specific dynamics (see: Towards the end of the section, we shall reflect on the overall insights on rural-urban connections developed from taking the two different vantages points: Rural Transformation and Urbanization (City Growth). These reflections are further developed in the subsequent section on impacts, where insights from the work on research-policy dialogues of WP5 are reported.

Agricultural Transformation
The set out of the WP1 research aimed at identifying the ‘technocratic’ ideas, political discourses as well as the major economic forces behind the prevailing models over time. It was assumed that sequential models are manifest in territorial and agricultural structures, and will heavily influence the rural-urban relationships as well as the constraints for future economic growth in specific locations. Thus the objective was to explore the broad spectrum from rather incremental changes in the way agricultural development is conceptualised and governed to more dramatic shifts caused by abrupt breaks with former political ideologies and policies. The ‘palette’ of models for national agricultural transformation was reconstructed by reviewing official documents on agricultural strategies, their main objectives, expected outcomes and key components. Research papers and grey reports were also included in order to better understand the driving social and economic forces behind particular models.

The review was structured according to a broad periodization that captured the main approaches to agricultural development on the African continent in terms of ideology, strategy and policy elements. The five periods includes the Colonial Heritage (up to 1950s), Independence and State Dirigisme (1960s and 1970s), Liberalization (1980s to mid-1990s), Post-Washington Consensus (PRSPs) (late 1990s to early 2000s), and Growth and Structural Change (late 2000s). A set of key topics was selected in order to identify the ‘paradigmatic’ models, including land tenure, scale of production units, crops, labour regimes, markets (orientation), role of the state and the private sector. Three main models are identified namely the large estate model, the peasant/smallholder model, and the elite demonstration model.

The explorations found that despite notable differences between the four countries due to their colonial past, different agro-ecological potentialities and barriers, resource endowments, social classes and ethnic groups, and many other factors, there are particular similarities to consider. Overall, three main models have been identified namely the large estate model, the peasant/smallholder model, and the elite demonstration model. Over time the relative importance of these models have changed in the national development strategies, the internal content of the models have been modified and also cases of hybridization have been found. Important to note though is the continuity of the basic models. Thus, the research documents quite striking temporal and substantive resemblances in the main transformative models applied to agricultural production and rural development

After more than a decade with structural adjustment programs the turn of the century marked a gradual, albeit somewhat hesitant transition to a less market-oriented policy framework in all four countries. The structural adjustment of the national economies did not ‘trickle down’ to reach the poor at the expected pace and the impact on poverty reduction was insignificant – if not directly harmful. Hence, during the first year of the 2000s, all the four countries implemented so-called Poverty Reduction Strategies that mainly addressed the social sectors (health, education) whereas agriculture only received modest attention in most strategies. To the extent they were included, agricultural policies and initiatives in the strategies mostly addressed institutional issues like different means to promote and improve the (private) distributing channels for supply of inputs (mainly seed and fertilizers), increase access to formal credit (various micro-finance schemes for farmers), and improve rural infrastructure to increase access to markets. These benefits are difficult for farmers with limited resources to capture, and components explicitly addressing poverty reduction in the agricultural sector were few. Even though the distinction between policies towards the peasant and the large-scale ‘modernized’ models became somewhat blurred in this period it is notable that two old acquaintances were re-introduced (although in redesigned wrappings): farmers’ organizations were urged and supported to take up many of the same tasks as the defunct cooperatives were supposed to do; and some crop-specific para-statals with new regulatory responsibilities saw the light of the day. If there was any concern with agriculture during this period, it was on peasant/smallholder production.
The intentions of the poverty reduction strategies did not materialize and poverty was only marginally reduced. As a consequence, governments reoriented their policies towards agricultural growth as a means to reduce poverty and stimulate the national economy, influenced among other things by a common strategic program launched by the African Union. The program stressed the need to allocate a higher share of the total budget to this and that policies should aim at maximizing agricultural output and productivity. The countries responded with strikingly similar large-scale investment programs based on cooperation and coordination between state, private (foreign) corporations and donors. The large-scale estate model, large-scale state farms as well as various hybrid forms through public-private partnerships have been reinstated as key drivers of agricultural transformation, with direct investments in land and agricultural production facilities very much welcomed. The commercialization of peasant farming is now prompted via contract farming and the outgrower model. State funds thus prioritize commercially viable medium-sized farms, and support the capacity of farmers’ organizations, the improvement of input supply systems and access to credit. In contrast, subsistence-like smallholders and landless inhabitants are apparently envisaged to leave agriculture and find alternative employment in non-farming activities that emerge from new economic dynamics in the rural areas. The explorations suggest that it could be the case that the trend is towards integrated and state-coordinated implementation of land titling (in order to facilitate private investments and land accumulation), the consolidation of adjacent plots (owned by cooperatives), and detailed land use planning by powerful local authorities a la Rwanda anno 2013.

During the second phase of research seven different research sites have been examined. These cover different intensity and forms of land use: In the two Tanzanian sites annual crops dominate while in the more humid southern Ghana perennial crops are most common. In the three Cameroonian sites a mix of perennial and annual crops are grown although annual crops are now dominating due to a decline of coffee production. Two wet seasons in all the Cameroonian sites allow for a more intensive land use with multiple growing seasons per year supported by more heavy use of inputs. Smallholders have a diverse portfolio of crop production with most cultivating at least three or more different crops (this tendency is strongest in the Bamboutos and Moungo sites). Diversification of crop production may reflect agro-ecological considerations (crop rotation, different off-season crops) and/or a need to reduce production and market risks.

The empirical research found clear indications of an increasing commercialisation of production in the dynamic areas due to new and strengthened market demand, improved infrastructure (particularly roads), and more transportation options (trucks and motorbikes). Despite the overall dynamic development trend, technological development of agricultural production seems rather stagnant in all the sites, indicating that accumulation of income is insufficient to increase productivity by mechanisation and/or that a large pool of cheap agricultural labour is available. Previous outmigration of rural areas are in many of the sites replaced with a significant inflow of labour migrants who are looking for work related to the dominant crop, particularly in periods of the crop cycle where high input of manual labour is required, e.g. during harvests or planting. Non-agricultural income is very important in all sites. Notably, smallholders who do not produce the dominant crop are highly dependent on alternative income outside agriculture, indicating a jessant group of commercial and relatively more specialised farmers - and a group of rural peasants who are attached to agriculture but for various reasons choose to base their livelihoods on a combination of agricultural and non-agricultural activities. Also, trading channels in the dynamic regions are increasingly being diversified. In particular, the emergence of a plethora of local traders and urban-based buying agents significantly benefits the smallholders involved in the dominant crop: competition among buyers have increased and access to markets improved – given the concurrent upgrading of infrastructure and transportation alternatives.

The identified transformations of the agrarian production system are reflected in changing rural-urban connections: The flows in goods and information have been stimulated by the decreasing cost of transportation and communication, exemplified by mobile phones, motorcycles and trucks. This allows a broader range of actors to participate in the market exchange and to facilitate market information from towns and cities to villages. In turn, this may lead to more rapid changes in land-use due to a quicker response on changing market signals by smallholders. Labour flows also change. Rural areas are increasingly a destination for labour migration although rural-urban migration is still very important. Again, transportation technology facilitates this development as well as the increasing urbanisation of the rural areas with the emergence of attractive small towns as urban centres with many service facilities and as centres for market exchange. New forms of capital flows materialize where urban-based and other non-local citizens invest in land because they anticipate that production of the dominant crop becomes highly profitable. This results in private accumulation of land – partly facilitated by increasing formalisation and titling of traditional tenure systems.

The role of investments in rural areas was followed up in a second round of empirical research that have explored the drivers and nature of these investments by looking into: 1) the typology and the origin of the investors, (2) the land tenure and scale of land acquisitions, and (3) the types of investments and land-use undertaken by the investors. The examination also illuminates new practices of hiring and deploying agricultural wage labour in dynamic rural areas: external investors seldom personally settle and cultivate the acquired land but hire different types of labour to manage, monitor and work the landholdings. Hence, examining the importance and impact of external investments in selected rural areas (one site in each country) contributes to an understanding of the nature of new rural-urban connections and how they impact on local communities in terms of induced economic dynamism. Specifically, the aim of the research was to examine the nature of the investments and the dynamics that these investments induce but not to quantify the scope of external land investments.
These explorations found that there is an upward trend of land prices across the study areas and apparently the external investors contribute to the trend – in turn making it more difficult for indigenous children to inherit land: the increased value of land may make it more difficult for the younger generation to acquire land and the external investors affect and change the tenure arrangements. It was also found that mobile phones in many cases are very important drivers for the increasing multi-locality of investors’ economic activities. Not only do mobile phones increase the spread of information about land and product markets but they also help investors to manage land from afar, facilitate payment transactions and manage product sales. The external investors are often multi-local. Their activities span urban and rural milieus and their activities constitute some kind of ‘rurban’ dynamics. Many investors have other businesses or salaried jobs in towns in the vicinity or farther away from the study areas, and they complement or change their income portfolios to include investments in agriculture or housing in the rural areas. Thus an increase of agricultural investment may just as well be attributed to dynamics that span the urban and the rural.
Thus, agricultural transformation is characterized by remarkable changes in access to land and employment. While local farmers to a large extent rely on family labour, external investors are more likely to hire farm labour because their family is not always present and because they generally have larger tracts of land to cultivate. Probably enforcing an already existing trend, the investors increase the demand for labour and stimulate the formation of a local agricultural labour force. In most of the sites this labour force is made up of (seasonal) migrants with multi-locality livelihoods somehow similar to the investors. Many of the investors originate from the countryside and have over an extended period obtained urban incomes on the basis of which they begin to invest in agriculture either in their own place of origin or in other areas. This implies that a certain outmigration to urban areas of young talented people may in the long run be a benefit to a locality or extended family because parts of the urban income (and skills obtained) is re-invested in the rural area.
Regarding land, it can be observed that the external investors to a large extent take advantage of flexible forms of land tenure such as leasing and sharecropping. Also, after inducement of external investments agricultural practices are commercialised that further increase efficiency. The use of modern inputs and organisational improvements are disseminated from the farms of external investors. On the other hand Sale or lease of land is the result of either an urgent need for cash or a strategic intent to re-allocate resources to what is perceived as a more remunerative economic activity. Lease is the preferred mechanism as control over land is not lost but can be regained. The time horizon of the lease period depends on the particular crop that is cultivated – perennial or annual.
Hence, the WP1 research has shown how in dynamic rural regions, agricultural transformations interact with commercialization, and changing access to land and labour relation. It has been highlighted how these transformations relate to changes in agricultural policies but also how they differ due to the nature of the dominating crops, agro-ecological potentials etc. It has also been highlighted that many of the new investors to these regions are multi-local. However, despite of many positive economic spin offs related to the dominating crop external investors are pushing others out of land and agriculture. All in all, the social fabric and how different social groups are making a living in these dynamic regions are rapidly changing. This is the focus of WP2 that explores how mobility, migration and livelihood dynamics develop.

Rural livelihoods and mobility
The first phase of research of WP2 aimed at identifying the changing trends and patterns of mobility for different African countries and thereby approaching an understanding of how rural livelihoods increasingly have been integrated with trends in mobility and rural-urban migration. In doing this the study focused in particular on the patterns, processes and policies impacting on mobility in the four countries of the RurbanAfrica project (Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania). The starting point for these explorations is the application of the livelihoods approach as a lens from which to study mobility processes and contrast mobility with the main demographic trends in sub-Saharan Africa. Likewise, they include in-depth considerations for recent transformations in mobility patterns and policies that have affected mobility patterns across the region.

Among a variety of processes that have a bearing on current human mobility in sub-Saharan Africa, three key drivers were identified for the entire region: the processes of urbanization, agricultural transformation and globalization. In addition, specific national-level policies – often triggered by internationally driven regulations, requirements and guidelines – are of vital influence for domestic spatial and temporal patterns of mobility. Thus, migration from rural to urban areas obviously contributes to the process of urbanization. However, it is a common stereotype that all domestic mobility is a unidirectional movement from rural areas to cities. Nor can such migrants always be characterized as permanent migrants. On the contrary, many people move temporarily, whether on a daily, weekly or seasonal basis. Mobility also occurs between rural areas, between cities, and from urban to rural areas.

Recent transformation processes in agriculture and land distribution have greatly contributed to changes in the livelihoods of rural households. Multiple factors compel rural households to diversify their livelihoods – increasing scarcity of productive land for agriculture, as well as land fragmentation, land concentration, land grabs and new forms of agricultural production are just a few. National-level policies also contribute to agricultural transformation, for example by prioritising agricultural productivity and the production of export crops, through land tenure reforms and land use regulations, or through agricultural colonization schemes. Resettlement and other spatial planning policies for rural development also immediately affect population distribution. As such, agricultural transformation and related policies have mixed effects on the mobility strategies of rural households. The commoditization of agriculture may lead to periods of increased labour demand, whereas both the fragmentation and concentration of land will give rise to out-migration. As a consequence, the resulting patterns and processes of mobility are highly complex and multi-faceted.

The process of globalization is a third important driver of mobility in sub-Saharan Africa. On one hand, globalization makes itself felt through a capitalist expansion in all fields of economic activity – including agriculture, mining, and manufacturing, as well as within a diverse array of commercial and service activities. On the other hand, the adoption of neo-liberal public policies in many African countries, such as state reforms and associated new regulatory frameworks, are also very much inspired – if not imposed – by global ideologies driven by the Washington Consensus agenda. Structural Adjustment Programmes, Poverty Reduction Strategies, and decentralization policies have had major impacts on the livelihoods of rural and urban households alike. Again, each holds very mixed results regarding patterns and processes of mobility.

Thus, it was established that mobility patterns in sub-Saharan African countries demonstrate a wide variety in both spatiality and temporality. The analysis led to the suggestions of a typology of internal migration that includes both dimensions. For the time dimension, the typology distinguishes between daily, short term (periodic), medium term (seasonal) and long term mobility. As for the spatial dimension, the scheme differentiates between rural-rural, rural-urban, urban-rural and urban-urban mobility. Another trend in current mobility is the reduced selectivity in terms of gender and generation. While traditional migration regimes in sub-Saharan Africa used to be male-dominated, contemporary mobility patterns are becoming increasingly feminized, resulting in ever greater shares of women, particularly younger women, who migrate independently in search of employment opportunities. Conventional gender roles may gradually change as a result of the increasing autonomy of women who break out of their traditional gender straitjackets.

Finally, the study exposed a twofold bias in the current mobility literature on sub-Saharan Africa. The first bias is a result of the often-narrow focus of transnational migration researchers. Here mobility is most often studied from a strictly transnational perspective that does not hone-in on linked domestic mobility processes. Moreover, and as far as domestic mobility research is concerned, a second bias is observed. The majority of research within this topic turns a blind eye to other types of mobility currently occurring outside of rural-urban contexts. This research bias easily leads to a stereotyping of mobility that often suggests a universal rural exodus: a generalized unidirectional movement from rural areas to cities.

In phase two of the research, WP2 in collaboration with WP1 collected survey data in the seven rural sites (see subsection above). For WP2 the aim was to explore the importance of multi-activity and multi-locality in household livelihood transformations and poverty dynamics. One common feature of the research sites is that each is a dynamic rural region in which transformation processes are guiding the everyday life of rural households. It is through a systematic comparison of household livelihoods in these regions that important particularities and similarities in livelihood transformation and mobility of rural households in Sub-Saharan countries are exposed.

Rural transformation processes in agriculture and land distribution have shaped the livelihood strategies of many rural households in Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania. While agriculture remains the dominant feature in the livelihood strategies of rural households, agricultural activities are more and more complemented with off-farm activities and multi-locality through people’s access to rural and urban networks. Rural dwellers expand their areas of operation and diversify their activities by engaging in livelihood activities outside of their rural places of residence. Similarly, urban livelihoods are in turn complemented through their familial connections in the rural hinterlands.

The empirical analysis shows that rural transformation processes have manifested through an increased privatisation of land, a commercialisation of different crops and the diversification of livelihood activities. More and more people in the research areas have shifted from subsistence agriculture toward increased involvement in market gardening and the production of cash crops. Crops are no longer cultivated by subsistence farmers but are highly commercialised and integrated with manufacturing and services in rural service centres and small towns. The dynamics created by the intensification of agricultural production have also opened up a range of opportunities for livelihood diversification and off-farm activities in the rural-urban economy; these include new employment opportunities via small shops and other productive businesses. At the same time these dynamics trigger a variety of mobility flows and rural-city connections.

In terms of mobility, a large improvement in rural connectivity through technological infrastructure and the like, has contributed to increased mobility dynamics from, to and within the regions. Migration can no longer be considered as a unidirectional movement from rural areas to cities; it has instead been shaped by a chain of connections in which rural and urban livelihoods interact on a movement continuum. Temporary movement - whether daily, weekly or seasonally – characterises the main mobility pattern of rural households crisscrossing the region in search of employment, services, commercial goods, education as well as social reasons. These temporary flows of people are complemented and linked with more permanent flows of mobility. In other words, the areas under study are highly dynamic in terms of mobility in- and outflows. Some of these flows are year round, but there are also large fluxes during certain periods of the year such as during land preparation, harvesting and other key periods on the agricultural calendar. Increased mobility flows also are related to important social events such as public holidays, burial ceremonies and local festivities that attract migrants to their home towns.

Although within these rural dynamics the livelihoods of several households have improved in terms of income and (to a lesser extent) in terms of purchasing power, not everybody benefits to the same extent from these flows. Certain population groups are very vulnerable within the agricultural transformations taking place. This is especially because fertile land becomes very scarce in these regions and markets are not always functioning as they should. In fact, over the last 10 years the socio-economic position of certain households, especially those who are no longer able to make a livelihood in agriculture or those who are unable to find good alternatives for generating income, deteriorated. Indeed, not all households succeed in connecting to the booming crops phenomenon in the areas under study. As small scale farmers have to compete with urban investors and other external actors, this often results in the exclusion of smallholders from more dynamic markets.

In general, improvements in rural connectivity have contributed to increased mobility dynamics from, to and within the rural regions. Mobility can no longer be considered a unidirectional movement from rural areas to cities; it has instead been shaped by a chain of connections in which rural and urban livelihoods interact on a movement continuum. Temporary movement – whether daily, weekly or seasonally – characterises the main mobility pattern of rural households crisscrossing the region for social reasons as well as to search for employment, services, commercial goods and education. These temporary flows of people are complemented and linked with more permanent flows which make the areas under study highly dynamic in terms of mobility in- and outflows. While some of these flows are year round, there are also large fluxes at certain times of the year such as during land preparation, harvesting and other key periods on the agricultural calendar. Increased mobility flows also are related to important social events such as public holidays, burial ceremonies and local festivities that lure migrants to their home towns.

These rural dynamics have influenced regional development processes in significant ways. The introduction of cash crops has drawn a variety of traders and external actors who have turned the sites into attractive locations for investment. Several sites attract traders, businessmen and women who want to invest in land and create additional labour opportunities for local people. In turn, these rural people have a better income through which they can afford to travel to towns or other rural areas to look for additional livelihood opportunities. Others start a business in the community; they open a small shop or a phone booth or buy a Chinese motorbike and become a taxi driver. People also invest in improved housing. These investments in real estate bring along a vibrant market for building materials and informal jobs in the construction sector. These are some of the reasons why increasing local business opportunities can be observed in the different regions under study.
Thus, rural dynamics result in direct linkages in the local economy in terms of non-farm activities, spin-off activities related to agriculture and a boost of the local transport and construction sectors. Apart from these developments, additional investments in the agricultural sector have created significant and new employment opportunities for youth and landless farmers. In addition, remittances form the most tangible links between mobility and development. Especially in Ghana and Cameroon, a significant share of household income consists of remittances. Most households engage in mobility as part of livelihood survival or consolidation strategies, using remittances to buy various goods including farming inputs such as fertiliser, as well as cooking utensils, food supplies, clothes, a bicycle or a small solar panel. Some also succeed in accumulating wealth as a result of international remittances. When migrants organise themselves through hometown or migrant associations, remittances have the potential to be used for local development projects in infrastructure and services, especially when lobbied for at the national government level.
The mobility patterns of people, goods and capital have shaped the different connections that occur between rural and urban settlements. While farming activities take place within rural settings, it is mostly non-farming activities that are important for the rural-urban mobility of people. Of similar importance is how the trade in agricultural produce and skilled work have formed important economic flows between rural and urban settlements. In this respect, urban centres generate trade in the rural settlements through the provision of manufactured products, along with the provision of services and the technology and capital of urban investors who invest in agriculture. In this sense, mobility flows in the region are no longer one-way, but instead constitute very complex and fragmented processes of inflow and outflow of resources (be it, among others, people, money, goods, and services).
The impacts of these mobility processes on local and regional development are significant. Investments in the agricultural sector have created employment and a competitive local market of non-farm activities in a flourishing service sector as well as increased petty trade. The increased purchasing power of households affects agricultural production (such as through increased land holdings, new farming equipment and livestock or the ability to apply more fertilisers). Increased purchasing power also impacts educational attainment levels, the expansion of networks and ideas and the possibility to better afford household expenditures and services.
At the same time, such economic dynamism also triggers challenges in terms of rural development. At the household level, increased mobility of household members places an extra burden on family labour; this sometimes obliges households to reduce or even stop farming activities which in turn makes them more dependent on external money flows. At the community level, it becomes clear that not everyone benefits to the same extent from the dynamic flows in the area.
A final but very important result of the research is that along with these generally positive rural dynamics, analyses show that certain population groups are becoming very vulnerable. This holds in particular for those dynamic rural regions where fertile land is becoming scarce. In addition, the virtual absence of regional planning efforts and lack of government support for large scale investment in infrastructure result in villages becoming highly dependent on private investments and the ‘goodwill’ of local elites and local chiefs to initiate localised development projects. These are often driven by local power games and the availability of funds and as such they are very unpredictable and unsustainable.

City dynamics
The key objective that was directing the activities during the first period of research was to identify the rate and nature of urban growth and examine the reasons for these population changes in the four case countries (Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, and Tanzania). The analysis highlighted that while Cameroon and Ghana are now predominantly urban countries in statistical terms, Rwanda and Tanzania still have the majority of their populations living in rural areas. All four countries are experiencing urbanization and rural-urban migration remains a contributing factor. However, the continued salience of rural-urban migration should not divert attention away from the increasing importance of natural growth, as the latter is also a major factor in the growth of urban areas, and may pose its own unique policy challenges. Some of the key differences between urbanization rates and levels and the nature of urban growth in the four countries stem from their very varied colonial and postcolonial histories. However, a key difficulty in engaging in comparisons between the countries is that they all define urban areas differently. Moreover, despite 2 of the 4 countries having recently conducted Censuses (Ghana in 2010 and Tanzania in 2012), existing data is quite limited.

A number of key areas requiring further research also emerged from the ‘City Dynamics’ state of the art research. First, the concept of informality is central to an understanding of urban livelihoods as informal employment is dominant and increasing in African cities. Many urban residents who used to have formal sector jobs are now self-employed informal workers, and many of those who have formal jobs supplement their wages through engaging in the informal sector. Second, the role that mobility plays in urban growth and urban livelihoods has emerged from the state of the art reports as being a central feature of city dynamics. It has been claimed that mobility is so widespread that it should not be seen as a rupture in society, but as a normal way of life, with immobility being the anomaly. Third, the youthful nature of urban populations highlights the need to gain an understanding of the priorities and prospects of urban youth.
This study conducted under the auspices of work package 3 focusses on objective 2 – to assess how the mobility of urban residents forms part of their livelihood strategies. It is based on extensive primary data collected in six cities: Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana, Bafoussam and Douala in Cameroon, and Arusha and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Within each city up to five residential areas were studied in order to cover a range of types of neighbourhoods to include older and newer areas, a range of income levels, differing locations within the city, and differing types of population movement.

The results show that there is a high degree of mobility in all of the cities studied, much of it linked to livelihood activities. Migrants moving into the cities are primarily young people of both genders from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds who have varying education and skill levels. They move to the cities from rural areas and urban settlements of all sizes including other major cities. Most are national migrants but there are a few international migrants. There is a tendency for a greater proportion of migrants to the intermediate-sized cities to move from the surrounding areas compared with the larger cities where there is no key source area of migrants.

Most of the migrants move for economic reasons in search of better livelihoods in the cities but this is often formulated broadly as ‘to pursue life opportunities’ and ‘for a better quality of life’, hence also includes social and cultural factors. Many young people also move to the cities in order to attend schools and tertiary institutions, and some young women move in relation to marriage. Whilst older people are generally thought of as moving out of cities back to their hometowns, there were also instances of older people moving in the reverse direction in order to be taken care of by relatives already residing in the city.

On arrival in the city most migrants move into centrally located areas where they either stay with family/friends or rent accommodation. Central areas are attractive as they are close to income-earning possibilities, have good transport connections, and tend to include areas with cheap rental accommodation. There is an emerging trend, however, for some migrants to move directly to the peripheral areas to live with family/friends who are already settled there, as rents can be cheaper in these areas, or because they have secured nearby employment.

The vast majority of the city residents establish their own businesses or work for others in the informal economy. The activities primarily involve retail though there is a growing service economy as well as a limited number of production activities. Some of these activities are home-based, primarily run by women, whilst others take place in markets, in shops, or along the roadsides. Although many of the income-generating activities are ubiquitous, a few are specific to certain parts of the cities such as fishing, printing presses, and wholesale retailers. Whilst it is rare for residents in the central areas of the cities to leave the city in relation to generating their livelihoods, some residents in the peripheral areas travel outside of the city in order to work as small-scale farmers, labourers on nearby plantations, in stone-quarries or in small-scale mining. Most farming activities though tend to be supplementary rather than primary income-generating activities for urban residents.

There is an overriding tendency in all of the cities studied for intra-urban residential mobility to occur from the centre to the periphery with the primary motive being to become homeowners or find cheaper places to rent as land/housing/rent falls in price away from the city centres. Consequently, those moving tend to be young/middle aged people with expanding families. Secondary motives for moving include wanting a ‘good environment’ i.e. peace and quiet, fresh air, space and greenery. Services/infrastructure were rarely mentioned as a reason for moving, though are a factor that is kept in mind when deciding where to move to. Similarly, livelihoods were not a key factor for moving but a move often has implications for income-generating activities. For many urban residents, a move to the periphery often follows a significant number of moves between dwellings within the central areas, though this is reduced in contexts where high rent advances are demanded.

Much of the regular mobility within cities is linked to livelihood activities and is engaged in by people of all ages, socio-economic levels and genders, though not everyone is equally mobile. Some of this mobility takes place on a daily basis, either commuting to a formal/informal workplace or searching for work. Other mobility, often in relation to buying goods to sell, is frequent though not necessarily daily and at times especially female traders will make reciprocal travel arrangements to reduce the length and cost of travelling within the city. Especially in the larger cities, the inadequate transport infrastructure results in long queues, massive traffic jams, and long journey times especially for those living in the periphery of the cities who work in the centre. A few urban residents travel outside the city on a regular basis to work or buy primarily agricultural goods to sell; this is quite rare in the larger cities but more common in the intermediate-sized cities.

Overall this study has shown how mobility to and within cities is widespread occurring at a range of scales and temporalities. Migration to cities and regular mobility are closely linked to livelihood activities, whereas intra-urban residential mobility is more connected to the search for cheaper land/housing/rents in the peripheral areas. Whilst some urban residents, especially those living in the peripheral areas of the smaller cities, have links to rural areas, these tend to be fairly limited though remain important for a minority. As cities expand and as increasing numbers of urban residents are born and grow up in cities, as this study has shown their links to rural areas are likely to decrease over time. Thus, livelihood and mobility links between rural and urban areas are less tangible and more complex than popular presentations of migration driven urban growth prescribes. These insights have obvious implications for how city planning and governance should be considered, which has been the focus of the third phase of research – this is discussed in more detail in the subsequent section 4.1.4 of this report. However, city dynamics also interact with the availability of services in the cities and how city dwellers are experiencing and valuing access to these services: this has been the focus of WP4.

Access to services in cities
The urbanization of Africa promises great economic benefits and the data from the desk studies on public services show that they are generally better in urban areas than in rural areas, although not necessarily for poorer households. But so far the pace of urbanization has outstripped the delivery of infrastructure services. Roads are choked, power is unreliable, and sanitation is poor. This first inventory into access to urban services explored a range of services - sanitation, water, electricity, education, health, mobile phones, urban transport and street lighting - in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) generally and Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda and Tanzania in particular. The study also includes extensive analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) data which were obtained through the DHS program portal ( and disaggregated by income quintile.
It was found that overall access to sanitation is poor in SSA. Overall coverage was better in urban areas where 43% used improved sanitation and 8% open defecation. Access to improved sanitation in Cameroon and Rwanda was higher than the SSA average, while access in Ghana and Tanzania was below the average. Population growth and income are important factors; e.g. the poorest people are five times less likely to use improved sanitation than the richest quintile. Urban sanitation challenges faced by households in lower income areas are exacerbated by on-going change including demolitions, slum upgrading, redevelopment, over-crowding and lack of services. This applies to both shared and individual household sanitation. Low-income urban residents are constrained by lack of security of tenure. Thus, for sanitation services to improve it is of importance to improve governance structures and to better understand the relationship between non-State providers and the State.
Almost five times as many people in rural areas of SSA are without an improved drinking water source than in urban areas. Clear improvements include the percentage of urban people in Cameroon and Ghana who use ‘improved’ or potentially hygienic water sources, now above the SSA average, however there has been a decline in Rwanda and Tanzania to below average access. The benefits of access to piped water is limited to those in higher wealth quintiles, with a reduction in access by urban SSA households from 43% in 1990 to 34% in 2010. This suggests a lack of investment in infrastructure, calling for improvement in utility performance. Inequality is evident in urban water services and water is obtained from vendors or shared taps rather than the water utility which faces a huge challenge in serving this group.
The power crisis in SSA means that less than a quarter of the population has access to electricity. If South Africa is excluded, Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region of the world where per capita electricity consumption is declining. Connecting electricity for urban areas should be easier than for rural areas due to the high density of households in a given location. However, lack of capacity on the supply side leaves many utilities unable to connect new users who are willing to pay. As with water supply, in cases where tenure is not secure both government and utilities can be unwilling to connect services to illegal dwellings or those without formal titles. In Cameroon and Ghana, more than 80% of households have access to electricity in urban areas compared to 50% in Rwanda and Tanzania. However, little is known about how households use or wish to use electricity for other purposes. Cost recovery is a major challenge facing electricity providers as high tariffs would make electricity unaffordable to most. Fixed monthly connection charges can increase the cost of electricity even further, especially for households with relatively low levels of use
Access to primary schools has increased in SSA but universal primary education will not be achieved by 2015, though enrolment in many countries was above 90% in 2010, including Rwanda and Cameroon. Still, the number of children not in school in SSA was 31 million in. The probability of being out of school decreases as household wealth increases. The higher concentration of schools in urban areas shortens the distance between home and school and schools in urban areas can attract better qualified staff. Reducing the cost of attending school and providing alternative forms of education are key areas for improvement. In the case study countries, a lack of space and qualified teaching staff were particular constraints on improving access.
A mixture of public, private, religious and not for profit health facilities are available where better health infrastructure exists in urban areas for those who can afford it. Urban areas also attract a more skilled workforce; services in rural areas can be provided by semi- or un-skilled workers. In the case study countries traditional healers and informal vendors are still widely used by all. Key elements contributing to effective health system service delivery are a strong healthy workforce, medical products, vaccines and technologies, information systems, financing, good leadership and governance. In SSA, these elements are weak or non-existent which affects the provision of good quality health services to all. Introducing medical insurance increases access to health facilities in countries such as Rwanda but lack of infrastructure, qualified staff and equipment is still a significant challenge throughout SSA.
The growth in mobile phone communications has been a remarkable achievement in SSA. Although the initial cost of handsets can be high, the cost of using a mobile phone is relatively low, especially with pre-paid services. About 97% of consumers in SSA use this payment method, buying credit/airtime in small denominations, according to their budget. Expanding and strengthening social networks is seen to be the most important benefit of having access to mobile phone services. In the case study countries, more than 70% of the urban population and 35% of the rural population have access to mobile phones, which is lower coverage than water supply but higher than electricity (except in Ghana) and much higher than improved sanitation. The main barriers to this are cost of handsets and lack of network coverage. In terms of handset affordability, households who cannot afford to own their own mobile most often use a public phone (in a shop or with an agent) or use those of family and friends. Mobile phones are promoting enterprise through the formalisation of previously informal networks. Information can now be transferred via the phone which used to be given through word of mouth. This allows enterprises to have larger networks, which can encompass a whole supply chain. Mobile money transfers, more common in urban areas, are a potential growth area for the urban economy, by supporting the growth of small and micro enterprises.
There are several barriers to effective and efficient transport including poor infrastructure management and planning frameworks, expensive road building projects, limited availability of and financing for public transport, traffic congestion and urban sprawl. The privately operated informal sector takes a 90% share of public transport but these services are mainly concerned with maximizing profits rather than improving service provision, with unregulated fares and poor security. The urban poor can spend a lot of time and income travelling to work, especially those in unserved areas. Residents on the peripheries of cities can walk long distances to reach public transport. It is estimated that in Africa, only one quarter of the main road network is in good condition and about one quarter is fair. Giving priority to bus services can be important but secondary and tertiary roads allow traffic to be more evenly spread out. Poor design means that in many cities, large lorries and trucks still pass through the city centre to industrial areas which causes damage to the roads and adds significantly to congestion.
Reliable, comprehensive statistics for street lighting provision in rural and urban areas in Africa do not exist. The benefits of street lighting include; reduced fear of and actual robbery and assault, more night time trading, a better quality of life, more attractive inner city areas, more use of the road network thereby reducing daytime congestion and a boost to tourism. Funding the installation of lighting is a major barrier. Fixed roadway lighting improves night-time visibility, but the costs are only justified if there is heavy traffic or high accident rates. Inspection, cleaning and maintenance is also essential for effective operation. Examples of successful street lighting initiatives in SSA have the potential to be replicated in other areas.
In the second phase of research WP2 focussed on urban residents’ access to water, sanitation, electricity and transport and their acceptability of the services and also looked into the role of mobile telephony services and how they interact with other services and support rural-urban linkages. The analysis across the Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania case cities found that residents across 30 settlements with a range of characteristics in six cities reported difficulties accessing water supply, sanitation, electricity and transport services and various problems with the quality of all four services. The settlement profiles and summary tables show the multitude of challenges faced by residents in meeting their needs for water, sanitation, electricity and transport – and the challenges faced by government and service providers in meeting these needs.
Overall, residents’ highest priority for improvement was urban transport and it was the first or second priority in 15 of the 30 settlements. In particular they highlighted the need for road improvements to enable public transport routes to be extended into settlements and to reduce congestion. Water supply was residents’ second priority for improvement overall, and it was the first and second priority in 16 of the 30 settlements. Most settlements currently use a range of sources and report that the quality of water is poor from many of them. There are also access problems with frequent interruptions to utility water supplies and queues at wells.
Sanitation was the third priority for improvement overall, and first and second priority in 11 of the 30 settlements. There was a range of facilities and practices reported, from flush toilets connected to sewers to use of plastic bags or open defecation, but most people used household level improved or unimproved latrines, shared latrines, or public toilets. Problems were reported with privately-owned public toilets (cost, toilets locked at night, cleanliness) and with pollution from disposal of excreta in the local environment.
The lower priority for improving sanitation than water supply contrasts with the existing urban coverage levels in the three countries of 15-46% for improved sanitation compared to 77-91% for improved water supply. The results suggest that “coverage” by improved water supply does not imply an acceptable level of service. Electricity was the lowest priority overall, though it was still first and second priority in 6 of the 30 settlements. Access is an issue in some settlements, especially those at a distance from the national grid. Power cuts and low voltage are widely reported, though scheduled power cuts seemed to be regarded as acceptable.
There were differences in the accessibility and quality of services in different types of settlement but the priority services for improvement were similar in both the major cities and the secondary cities, in both lower-income and higher-income settlements, and in both stable and rapidly growing settlements.
The provision of services may make an area more attractive for both affluent people and tenants, fueling population growth, as shown by examples from Dar es Salaam. It was found however, that landlords may restrict tenants’ access to water and sanitation, for example in Accra, Sekondi-Takoradi, Douala and Arusha.
As residents considered that sanitation and electricity were lower priority for improvement, it appears that residents found the existing sanitation and electricity services to be more acceptable than transport and water supply services. This may be a matter of how services relate to residents’ livelihoods and to their expectations. Long, costly and unpredictable travel times and unreliable water supplies may cause greater daily inconvenience than power cuts or poor access to latrines, which residents are accustomed to. Similarly people may find poor quality sanitation or low voltage electricity supply more acceptable than badly smelling water. Electricity may be seen as a higher order service which can wait. There is also the issue of external support. Individuals can manage (and improve) their own sanitation without external support, but transport and water supply are communal services for which they have no option but to rely on external support.

Regarding mobile telephony, it was found that network coverage, mobile phone ownership, and use have increased rapidly over the past decade. Currently 75% of individuals in urban areas in the case study countries have access to mobile phone services, even if they do not own their own phone. This compares to about a third of those living in rural areas. Although mobile phone access is positively correlated with wealth, options exist for those on low-incomes to benefit through using other people’s phones, call kiosks, and promotional service bundles offered by network providers. Strategies have been developed to deal with poor and dropped connectivity, and unreliable electricity supply, so that connectivity is maintained.

People use their phones in innovative ways to enhance their livelihoods. While these options may not yet be available in remote rural areas, or to the poorest in a community, nevertheless, the costs associated with mobile phone use are decreasing, and network coverage is being extended. Benefits to users include social and business contact without the need to travel. Jobs now exist in phone charging, selling credit, and repairs. Mobile banking and money transfer is a major advantage opening up to all, although there are costs associated with this.

It is noted that network coverage is often only available on the major roads between rural and urban areas, and not in the rural areas themselves. In urban areas, network coverage seems relatively consistent from one settlement to another, and problems that might occur can be at a regional or national level. The effects of these changes on migration, either between different parts of a city, or between rural and urban areas mean that residential location is perhaps less important. In spite of difficulties in network connections, the need for improvement is ranked lower than for other essential services. Therefore, the quality of network coverage would not necessarily be a disincentive to live in particular urban settlements.

Rural-city Connections in Sub-Saharan Africa
As its starting point, the RurbanAfrica project questioned whether widely held assumptions on sub-Saharan Africa’s development trajectories are supported by current evidence. At the heart of these assumptions is a disconnect between on the one hand an overwhelmingly ‘traditional’ agricultural sector that fails to support structural transformation in rural development, and on the other hand rapid urbanisation rates that rather than reflecting economic growth are a major cause of increases in urban poverty and the growth of slums. Somehow missing in these debates is an explicit attention to the ways in which urbanisation and rural transformations are linked, and their potential impacts on socially equitable and environmentally sustainable economic development. This in turn is reflected in largely inadequate governance responses to rural and urban transformations which all too often end up increasing inequalities rather than supporting inclusive urbanisation and rural development.
Starting with state-of-the art analyses of rural transformation and urbanization in the four case countries, the RurbanAfrica project has documented how trends in rural transformation, mobility, and urbanization have been highly influenced by past and present global policies, e.g. structural adjustment policies, liberalization and processes of Poverty Reduction Strategies. It was found that while agricultural transformations and policies during the past forty years follow similar trajectories, Rwanda to some extent being an exception, trends in urbanization and urban growth vary across the SSA region to a much higher degree: The latter being explained by considerable variation in colonial and post-colonial approaches and policies in relation to urbanization. These desk studies also documented that the role of mobility and rural–urban migration and how these impact on rural livelihood strategies vary considerably between regions. Important to mention though is the extraordinary lack of historical data and analyses on trends in internal migration of the case countries, confirming the need for comprehensive studies on migration and mobility, as taken up explicitly in the project.
Our work on rural transformations has focused on emerging dynamic agricultural areas in Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania , where production is dominated by smallholders and the introduction of new crops or the expansion of traditional ones have become engines of increases in aggregate production and incomes. None of these locations fit the picture of ‘traditional’ smallholder agricultural systems, and while they are not representative of the whole sector they nonetheless provide useful insights on the nature of rural transformations in the three countries. All study areas share some common characteristics.
First, there is a remarkable increase in the number of external investors, attracted by a booming production, which in turn is driven by domestic, regional and international demand. This includes these new actors purchasing or leasing land, spurring changes in land tenure systems and land use patterns, with mixed consequences on indigenous smallholders who may gain from more flexible access to land but also be excluded from it because of rising land prices. External investment is closely linked to the growing numbers of seasonal migrants employed as wage agricultural labourers.
Second, dramatically improved transport infrastructure and the widespread use of mobile phones and ICT, including access to mobile banking and support networks, seem to favour smallholders: traders now come to settlements, rather than farmers having to go to markets, reflecting their stronger negotiating position.
Third, there appears to be a substantial increase in mobility and in the diversification of income sources among local households, which overall contribute to more secure livelihoods. Migration is of course closely linked to better connectivity; but it is also related to local employment opportunities, especially in non-farm activities. If these are not available, people will move to where they are. The nature of the predominant crop largely determines whether it contributes to the diversification of the local economic base and whether added value is retained and re-invested locally through processing and other activities. This is where there are notable differences between the case study locations, showing that perishable crops such as vegetables, which require quick harvesting, handling and transport, are far more likely than industrial crops such as palm oil and rubber to contribute to the emergence of ‘urbanising’ villages offering employment, goods and services to their own residents and those of the surrounding areas.
Our work on urban growth and access to services for urban residents focused on the primate city and a secondary town each in Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania. As in the rural locations, the case study areas share common characteristics. The first is that migrants to these urban centres are a diverse group with regard to age, sex, wealth status and reasons for migrating, a finding that invites caution in making generalisations about migrants, especially in assuming that migration is an important factor in the increase of urban poverty. This is clearly not the case.
Second, in the majority of cases migrants intend their stay to be permanent rather than temporary. This means that they are prepared to invest in the city, which in many cases entails a loosening of their ties to rural home areas. This is especially the case when rural assets such as land have limited value or might not be granted at all.
Third, the importance of daily mobility for city dwellers is also reflected in their assessment of transport as being the main priority for improvement and how they value other services. Water supply was also identified as a major priority, although most urban households have access to improved water supplies. Access to mobile phones is crucial and most individuals in urban areas own a mobile phone or can access one through family, friends and kiosks. In peripheral areas people seem to overcome the mostly poor service, for instance in sanitation, considering that some of the services will eventually come to the settlement.
Fourth, and perhaps the most significant finding, migrants do not contribute substantially to the physical expansion of urban centres into peripheral areas. This is in fact driven by well-established and often urban-born residents who have accumulated enough assets to invest in home ownership, but for whom the choice of location is limited by high land values. In the absence of housing finance and with highly unregulated rental markets, cheaper, un-serviced peripheral land is the best option for incremental house construction. Recent migrants, in contrast, tend to reside in central locations in the city.
Urban expansion has wider implications though. On the planning side, urban expansion is happening informally, without basic infrastructure and services in place, making it both technically challenging and financially costly to provide them once the areas are already relatively densely built-up. Moreover, the growing number of residents moving across long distances between residential and work places in the absence of adequate mass transport systems is clearly a major challenge in the largest cities, where being stuck in traffic jams for hours on end is part and parcel of city life.
Thus, the RurbanAfrica research has developed insights into how rural-urban connections form social transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was found that rural transformation as it develops in dynamic rural regions, as has been the focus of the empirical research, clearly interacts with urbanization and urban-based economies through e.g. urban-rural investments. This clearly interacts with increasingly multi-local livelihood arrangements, multi-directional migration flows and the formation of small urban centres (located in rural regions). With a focus of the primary and a secondary city in each country it has been shown that urban growth is increasingly driven by natural growth rather than migration, meaning that rural-urban connections are less tangible and unidirectional than popular assumptions prescribe. However, in general secondary cities have more direct demographic and economic connections with rural hinterland regions than primate cities, but this vary, depending on e.g. matters such as the size and growth of the city, their ordained roles in the national planning system, and roles in servicing agricultural/resource value chains. These insights relate to the availability and appraisals of services such as water, sanitation, electricity, transport and mobile telephony which shall not only serve the low-income areas often located in the centre of the cities, but also the periphery of the cities where relocation for homeownership purposes of people and families from the centre of the city dominates.

Potential Impact: Advancing state-of-the-art understandings of rural-city connections in SSA
The RurbanAfrica project has brought together multi-disciplinary teams in four countries, covering a large number of case study locations in both rural and urban areas. The project has had as an ambition to advance the state-of-the-art understanding of rural-city connections in SSA, not least by scrutinizing the often uncontested truth that rural-urban connections, not least migration, is unidirectional from rural to urban, which is then assumed to undermine both rural and urban economies. As discussed in the previous sections, this assumption is obviously misleading. The fact that city growth dynamics are less directly affected by the flow of poor migrants to the city and the fact that rural transformation in dynamic rural regions attract urban based investors and producing local urban centres, point to the importance of moving beyond the myths.
While we acknowledge that a case study driven research project should not pretend to cover all central aspects of rural-city connections in SSA, we suggest that the case study based research with its focus on regional and city wise development offers important insights into the spatial transformations in SSA. By selecting a focus on dynamic rural regions and primate and secondary cities in all country cases studied, our ambition was to bring together different perspectives to document how urbanization dynamics and rural transformations are inextricably linked. What we will demonstrate subsequently is how the connections when addressed from each end of the spectrum: rural and city, result in focused policy recommendations. As we shall explain and elaborate on in the following the RurbanAfrica research accentuates the need for a new governance architecture.
During the lifetime of the project, several international organizations have shared this thinking, focusing on the potential of territorial, place-based approaches for regional and rural-urban development. One important initiative is the 2030 Agenda where global consensus has been reached in giving priority to 16 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Compared to the previous goals (the MDGs), the SDGs have a much clearer territorial focus. This is for example formulated in relation to goal number 2 on fighting hunger, where it is emphasized that support for rural development needs to be closely integrated with urban development. It is also reflected in the focus of goal number 9 on the development of quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, where the territorial aspects are formulated as the need for regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being. And obviously in goal number 11 on sustainable cities and local communities, where among other areas the importance of ‘supporting positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, per-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning’ are emphasized.
The preceding reflections are only few examples of how the SDGs, being very ambitious and comprehensive in scope, actually hold the potentials for promoting an integrated approach to the 16 goals. When moving beyond the headlines of each of the goals, it becomes obvious that we will have to engage with the rural-urban transitions more systematically, particularly to avoid severe conflicts between the pursuits of different targets during implementation.
The (UN) Habitat III consultations that shall prepare for the UN conference on sustainable housing and urbanization, October 2016, is another example of how rural-urban connections are moving into the global agenda. By embracing urbanization at all levels of human settlements, more appropriate policies can embrace urbanization across physical space, bridging urban, peri-urban and rural areas, and assist governments in addressing challenges through national and local development policy frameworks. Thus, to cater for inclusive and sustainable urbanization, policy makers need to develop and accommodate new and flexible governance structures that acknowledge spatial transformations; that being spatial expansion of existing cities and towns and the urbanization from village-to-town in formally defined rural regions. This is an important and contested political process where governance and planning units and political constituencies need to be transformed and coordinated; which very well matches visions of decentralization, but also transgresses pure reform agenda.

Global agendas that take point of departure in economic dynamics of development also focus on territorial and spatial transformations: important examples being the two most recent African Economic Outlooks with their respective focussed sections on ‘Regional Development and Spatial Inclusion’ (2015) and ‘Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation’ (2016). With a place-based approach they put at the centre both formal and informal institutions and integrated, multi-sectoral and comprehensive strategies. The explicit geographic focus builds on local conditions and advantages and in so doing aims to increase resilience and reduce regional inequalities. The bottom-up approach involves local stakeholders in planning and implementing development strategies, stimulating dialogue and co-production of solutions between local government and civil society, and greater transparency and accountability. This territorial approach to rural development is increasingly supported by international agencies, including the OECD and the European Commission.

Supporting rural transformation in dynamic rural regions
Based on the empirical research of socio-economic dynamics of rural regions it is shown that agriculture, and land conversations hold potential for actually connecting the rural and the urban and for driving an endogenous economic development that stimulates positive regional development – however, policies and governance could probably do more to understand and stimulate, not only the commercial aspects but also the legal and governance aspects and think in services to small urban centres that closely interact with the changing rural dynamics

Key messages have been summarized as follows:

• Policies should foster further commercialization and transformation of agricultural production by promoting the cultivation of dominant crops with strong linkages in the regional economies because of their high incremental potential for spin-off activities. On-going facilitation of the regional collection and distribution functions and the improvement of transport systems are also of vital importance to stimulate commercialization of agricultural production and further socio-economic changes within dynamic rural areas.
• More flexible land tenure options will help to increase agricultural production and productivity, and provide additional incomes for farmers with urgent financial needs. Policies should facilitate a greater level of transparency in land transactions and land markets contributing to the bargaining power of landowners from different socioeconomic strata.
• Policies should seek to reduce frictions to labour movements. The agricultural (seasonal) labour force can be supported by facilitating easier access to flexible labour markets, housing facilities and other logistic needs. Rural towns and service centres are the logical places for such enabling policies. Also, off-season labour opportunities should be improved in order to keep the pool of mobile labour force – in particular youngsters – within the area by ensuring transparent and decent working conditions.
• Regional development policies should include the construction and upgrading of social, economic and spatial infrastructure. Such improvements facilitate intra-regional household mobility and engender livelihood diversification, which in turn contributes to the expansion of rural economies. Diversification of the regional economy and the development of rural service centres will also prevent the outflow of human capital, in particular of the young and enterprising parts of the rural population.
• Local governments should promote and facilitate the collective use of remittances, e.g. by engaging migrant associations and community development committees in locally embedded action planning projects. Governments should create appropriate institutional environments in order to ensure that co-development projects are community driven, locally owned, and beneficial to all stakeholders.
• Regional development policies should include the facilitation and expansion of ICT development, in order to decrease the great disparity of access to ICTs and to stimulate productive use of ICTs. Planners should recognize that mobile phones and banking services contribute to local economic development by boosting the business environment and networking possibilities. Fostering ICT consolidation also is essential for capacity development and the connectivity between villages and nearby urban settlements as well as with larger towns within and beyond national borders.

Planning for and with urban residents
All cities included in the RurbanAfrica research are growing at a considerable rate and share some common characteristics. Data shows that urban growth connects as much to natural increase as to immigration from rural areas. Also, urban expansion is made up by relocation of either urban born or more established urban dwellers rather than by new rural-city immigrants. This has implications for how we can see rural-city connections; Actually these can be stronger between inner-city areas and rural homes, although many new urban residents might loose their connections, than between urban peripheries and rural areas. Thus, seen from the urban vantage point urban-rural connections are more fluid, changing and less tangible than what was shown in the explorations of rural transformations in dynamic rural regions.
Thus, while urban growth and urban expansion in cities are not likely to decrease, insights from the RurbanAfrica research points to the importance of looking much more into the changing urban morphology. What is striking here is the degree and form of inter-urban mobility. Research points to the urgent need for urban development policies to manage urban growth. Whilst subtle differences exist, empirical research of urban growth and urban residents’ ways of accessing services in primary and secondary cities in Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania has produced some generic insights.

Key messages have been summarized as follows:

• Increasingly urban residents are born and grow up in the city, and many migrants to urban areas have no intention of returning home. It is vital that these facts are recognised by policymakers and planners. Thus, policies intervening in rural areas to address urban problems have to be reconsidered as urban growth and related challenges are not direct effects of rural-to-urban migration.
• Most intra-urban mobility is primarily from the centre to the periphery of cities by urban residents wishing to become homeowners or in search of cheaper rental accommodation. Urban planners need to ensure that they plan for both of these groups.
• Densification of inner core areas would help reduce urban sprawl and encourage affordable housing. Government could spearhead the densification process through public-private partnerships.
• Many urban residents move around the city on a daily basis in relation to their livelihoods but are hindered by a poor road network and transport system. Improvements to the roads and transport would help promote urban livelihoods especially amongst the poor. Policies should aim at decentralizing urban facilities and employment opportunities to reduce the need for daily or regular mobility, while simultaneously ensuring sufficient provision of transport services, esp. public transport.
• Ideally, investments in services and infrastructure should accompany or precede planning efforts and housing development in developing peripheral areas. At the least local plans should be in place to ensure that land is set aside for infrastructure and services to be developed post-settlement.
• There are multiple problems with the supply of services in low-income settlements. Poor access makes it difficult for service providers to install and maintain their networks. The equipment is subject to tampering and illegal connections, causing loss of revenue and damage. Collecting payments for water and sanitation is clearly challenging, though low-income households are paying informal service providers much higher rates. Prepayment meters may help address these issues.
• Policies need to look beyond the formal–informal dichotomy and engage proactively in the planning of land, services and infrastructure in consolidated as well as newly developing settlements, irrespective of their planning status.
• Planners should work with local residents to ensure appropriate settlement layouts, set land aside for roads, utility corridors and communal facilities and create institutions for monitoring and penalization of non-compliance.
• The existing city master/strategic plans should be evaluated regularly to discover any gaps or important changes that need to be addressed and various planning institutions need to be better resourced and more integrated to enable them to accomplish their tasks effectively. In this respect, urban planners would benefit from attending regular training programmes or short refresher courses at the regional level. This would equip them with the requisite skills to address the needs of the changing urban population.

Linking rural transformation and inclusive urbanization perspectives
The preceding key messages for policy makers have taken their point of departure in rural transformation and city dynamics respectively and how they interact with rural-city connections. To link rural transformation and inclusive urbanization perspectives is has been shown that one important premise for developing governance and policy making for rural-urban transformation is to realize that connections or multi-directional and operate at different scales and therefore include much more that the tangible connections between (deep) rural areas and cities. Hence, one need to pay attention to the multiplicities of rural-urban connections. This was especially highlighted by the participants in the consecutive national policy dialogues held as part of the RurbanAfrica project in Cameroon, Ghana and Tanzania. Here it was emphasized that despite the increased recognition of the relevance of rural-urban linkages for sustainable development, and perhaps also despite the growing recognition of the significance of urbanization and its related opportunities and challenges, there are still substantial barriers that need overcoming.

Key messages have been summarized as follows:

• Sectoral policies still largely dominate national development strategies. In most cases agricultural transformation is favoured while the development of small urban centres are neglected. The sectoral policies also means lack of coordination, not least regarding the changing land use and the implementation of adequate governance structures.
• Promotion of structural transformation of agriculture through increased productivity and mechanization rarely considers its implications for rural livelihoods. Thus, the need for alternative employment outside farming, the importance of income diversification, and related to this the instrumental role of small urban centres are given scant priority.
• Discouraging migration to the cities continues to be seen as an important tool to ’manage’ urban growth, despite the fact that it is largely ineffective and possibly based on inaccurate assumptions. Thus, policy makers are mostly confortable with formulating rural policies as the backbone of economic policies, including policies for poverty reduction
• Rural-urban linkages remain a policy grey area, not least due to the lack of acknowledgment of the fact that sectoral policies also have a spatial dimension – either rural or urban.
• At the same time, however, participants in the national policy dialogues identified stronger and more accountable local governance systems as key to addressing rising inequalities and environmental concerns in both rural and urban areas, and especially across them.
The detailed sub-studies and country syntheses obviously add much more detail and nuance to these general insights. Also, it should be noticed that there are remarkable differences between the three (four) countries due to their colonial past and post-colonial policies, different agro-ecological potentialities and barriers, resource endowments, social classes and ethnic groups, and many other factors. This obviously questions to what degree similarities between countries and cases apply. However, we anticipate that the results from the RurbanAfrica research, including the key messages presented in this section, can be used as important inputs to ongoing policy and governance formulations at regional, national and global levels. Added value of African-European research collaboration and contributions to capacity enhancement
The RurbanAfrica project set out to develop research collaborations between African and European researchers and institutions and to nurture intra-Africa and intra-Europe cooperation. Likewise, it was a deliberate strategy to contribute to capacity enhancement of participating academic institutions by hiring young PhD researchers and making senior researchers to engage in co-supervision across institutions when possible.
One way to stimulate research collaboration has been the research organization where the project has made use of a matrix structure: 1) project deliverables were organized in topical work packages (WPs) that would include researchers and research from all African partners and additional relevant European researchers, under the leadership of WP leaders; 2) whereas country teams including members from all WPs were established under the leadership of case country leaders from the respective African partners. This organization has secured that the same topics have been studied in all case countries with the application of the agreed methodologies and secured that the topical research was properly coordinated, but also secured that research had been coordinated across WPs in each country. In practice this has been an often complex set up and challenge of who has responsibility to take action but also truly encouraged new sets of collaborations. One important challenge has been to update communication across the leadership (Steering Committee) when meeting face-to-face is expensive and Internet connections in Africa and African Partner Universities do not allow for successful execution of joint Skype meetings.
Holding of two project workshops with the participations of all project researchers early in the project life and later one a third WP led workshop has been another way to stimulate collaboration. The workshops have been very lively and productive in defining further research focus, methodologies, plans for joint collection of data, joint report writing etc. The ‘investment’ in these workshops have been fundamental to the success of the project and really pushed for further collaboration crossing boundaries of discipline, academic status, (continent), and university affiliation. Also, is has added value in streamlining processes and results/outputs. Later in the project lifetime the now established collaborations have resulted in co-authoring of conference presentations and published papers. Interestingly, these collaborations have also bridged Anglophone-Francophone divides in research traditions. Workshops and publishing have also been stimulated by the support of the Scientific Advisory Board.
Thus, in practice, the matrix organization has implied many different sets of collaborations and maximized collaboration between partner institutions. However, at the same time it has added complexity to identifying who should/would take responsibility for different tasks (e.g. country specific sub-reports feeding into the deliverable reports). Hence, it is assessed that more funds (and time) need to be set aside for meetings (including travel) if such and (ideal) form of organization should be optimized.
The inclusion of PhD researches has been another way of cross-partner collaboration. PhD researches were appointed by partner 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9. During the period two PhD researchers (one out of two PhD researchers of Partner 1 and the one from partner 3) have left the consortium for personal reasons. Hence, by the end of the project period 1 PhD researcher (Partner 1) has submitted her thesis and the four others plan to submit their thesis by the end of 2016 or early 2017. The PhD researchers have been included in developing the collaborative research through participation in project workshops and have also benefitted from a one weak project initiated PhD course at the University of Copenhagen (July 2013). PhD researchers have also benefitted from co-supervision by project participants from African and European partners related to the work package and country teams that apply to the PhD research. PhD researchers have also been engaged in empirical data collection and also conducted independent research in order to fulfil requirements of producing independent research. All PhD students, partners and supervisors assess the PhD research to be an important output of the project as it has stimulated collaboration between partners.

Key messages have been summarized as follows:
• It is recommended that the agreement on deliverables between the EC and consortium mirror the matrix structure. Based on experiences from the RurbanAfrica project it is assessed that this could help to reduce the grey areas of responsibilities.
• It is recommended that (more) funds be secured for visits, workshops and joint fieldwork of partners. Face-to-face collaboration is casting for a successful development and consolidation of cross-regional and cross-institutional collaboration
• It is recommended that in projects that include African research partners, EU funding shall support PhD training, including the spending of funds on supervision, university fees etc. While it on the one hand adds complexities because of very different university formats, it is accessed that the collaborative research format and international exposure is a critical factor in supporting academic advancement in Africa.
• It has to be acknowledged that Internet based collaboration between African and European partners are complicated by insufficient qualities of Internet connections and university based Internet support for the scientists. Accordingly, collaboration cannot fully rely on Skype meetings or other similar means of communication. Strategies for dissemination
The RurbanAfrica web portal
The RurbanAfrica web portal was developed during the summer 2013. The aim with the web portal for the project has been to provide easily accessible information on and findings from the project for the general public as well as to serve as a platform for sharing information on relevant project activities and policy implications and recommendations. The following overview of the content of the web portal is based on deliverable 5.3.
The web portal URL is: and it has been agreed with the University of Copenhagen, that they will continue to host the page and the coordinator has agreed to continue with project updates after the formal end of the project period.
The web portal has been and will to some extent continue to be updated with the following sections:
1. Publications
Project publications have been disseminated on the web portal regularly. These include RurbanAfrica project reports (the different deliverables from WP1-4), including country and site-specific reports, RurbanAfrica Working Paper Series, published papers, RurbanAfrica briefings and Policy Brief 1-4. This section will continue to be updated with references to formally published papers, including PhD theses (see:
The four Policy Briefs – summarising the key policy implications and recommendations respectively identified through the regional policy dialogues and research findings as well as seen through the lens of the new global agendas, from the SDGs to the New Urban Agenda. These have also been printed as pamphlets for distribution to policy makers and others interested in the policy implications and recommendations from the project. These pamphlets are published on the web portal as e-books.
2. Policy dialogues
Reports from the project inception policy dialogues in Cameroon, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana have been published on the web portal sub-site:
3. News and events
News and events from the project have been posted on the news list during the course of the project. They include RurbanAfrica workshops, PhD courses, policy dialogue meetings and conferences, e.g. EuropeAid Info Point Conference and the RurbanAfrica conference in January 2016. The RurbanAfrica conference website will be elaborated below’.
It is noted that this subsite will after the project has ended be changed to an “event archive” instead of news update.
4. RurbanAfrica research narratives
Recently, in February 2016, the website has been upgraded with new take on conveying findings and messages from the field work and research; a set of video interviews with project participants recorded during the RurbanAfrica conference, held at the University of Copenhagen in January 2016. In this set of short interviews, several researchers both from European and African partner institutions were asked to tell what they felt was their most significant ‘finding’ – something that changed the way they understand and appreciate the transformations they have been witnessing and documenting during the course of the project. The outcome is a set of narratives that add a lively and dynamic approach to the dissemination of information and findings from the project. Further elaboration on the videos is documented in a separate report (D5.2).

RurbanAfrica conference
Another important part of the publication and dissemination strategy has been the planning and execution of the RurbanAfrica Conference: “Rural-Urban Connections in Sub-Saharan Africa” which was held at the University of Copenhagen, January 25-28, 2016. The conference was intended for bringing together researchers and research communities concerned with rural transformation, mobility and urbanization processes in sub-Saharan Africa, and to stimulate a dialogue between researchers and the political/governmental community preoccupied with rural-urban connections. The conference is documented in the conference website:

Special issues
After the conference, paper presenters have been offered to send their draft papers for consideration for special issues of peer reviewed journals. Based on received drafts we have conceived two special issue projects: 1) ‘Rural-urban transformations and the role of small towns in Sub-Saharan Africa – revisited’, edited by Jytte Agergaard, Cecilia Tacoli, Griet Steel and Sinne Oertenbjerg to appear in European Journal of Development Research (preliminary acceptance but await final decision at the EJDR editorial meeting in July 2016); 2) ‘Rural-urban connections in sub-Saharan Africa’, edited by Jytte Agergaard and Sinne Oertenbjerg, to appear in Danish Journal of Geography (accepted).

List of Websites:
Web portal
5. The URL of the RurbanAfrica web page is

6. The URL of the ‘Publications’ sub-site is

7. Links to the reports from the project inception policy dialogues in Cameroon, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana:

8. Links to policy briefs can be found in the right side of the “Home” page, as well as under publications, and appear as follows:

Please see the picture in the attached Final Report (PDF).

9. The URL for the ‘News and events’ subsite is:

10. The URL of the research narrative subsite is as follows:

Example of a research narrative from Cameroon, as it is found on the web portal:

Please see the video link in the attached Final Report (PDF).

An additional entry point for the research narratives has been established at the bottom of the main (“Home”) page, along with links for project publications, the Work packages, and the research team:

Please see the pictures and the video link in the attached Final Report (PDF).

11. The URL of the conference website is

Contact details
Associate Professor Jytte Agergaard, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), has led the RurbanAfrica project consortium and acted as principal researcher during the entire project period.

Contact details for Jytte Agergaard
Jytte Agergaard
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN)
Section for Geography
University of Copenhagen
Oester Voldgade 10
DK-1350 Copenhagen K
Direct line: +45 3532 2567
Mobile: +45 2446 9856

I. Partner contacts
University of Copenhagen, Denmark, P1, UCPH,

Univerity of Utrecht, the Netherlands, P2, UU,

University of Loughborough, United Kingdom, P3, LBORO,

IIED, International (London), P4, IIED,

University of Toulouse, France, P5, Toul-II,

University or Rwanda, Rwanda, P6, UR,

Sokoine Agricultural University, Tanzania, P7, SUA,

University of Dchang, Cameroon, P8, UoD,

University of Ghana, Ghana, P9, UG,

Ardhi University, Tanzania, P10, ARU,

II. WP leaders
WP/Name/Partner/E-mail contacts
1 Prof. Niels Fold, P1, UCPH,

2 Ass. Prof. Paul van Lindert, P2, UU,

3 Prof. Katherine Gough, P3, LBORO,

4 Senior Researcher, Ian Smout P3, LBORO,

5 Principal Researcher, Cecilia Tacoli, P4, IIED,

6 Ass. Prof, Jytte Agergaard, P1, UCPH,

III. Country Coordinators
Country/Name/Partner/E-mail contacts
Rwanda: Prof. Emmanuel Twarabamenye, P6, UR,

Tanzania: Ass. Prof. Evelyne Lazaro, P7, SUA,

Tanzania: Prof. Robert Kiunsi, P10, ARU,

Cameroon: Prof. Martin Kuete, P8, UoD,

Ghana: Prof. Paul Yankson, P9, UG,

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