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African cities: Competing claims on urban land

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Chapter Summary

The chapter suggests that urban land in Sub-Saharan Africa has been used primarily for elite groups benefit from the pre-colonial period all through the colonial period. There is evidence of human habitation in the area occupied by Greater Maputo (capital of Mozambique) from 1st century AD. During the first half of the twentieth century colonial settlement schemes and indigenous labour migrationto the mines in South Africa as well as the cityunderpinned rapid urban expansion. A key factor in the de-colonisation process was the handover of power to new indigenous elites, trained in European contexts, who adopted existing colonial models of government and development in forms of neo-colonial modernization. Government decentralisation led to the two new autonomous local authorities - Maputo and Matola to recognise the importance of land values. The pre-existing forms of socio-economic integration of reciprocity and social redistribution are inevitably articulated with capitalism.

Keywords: Africa; European; Maputo; Matola; Mozambique; urban land



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