Changing rural urban linkages in Africa in a globalizing economy
The role of rural-urban linkages is critically vital for Africa‟s development in this era of rapid socio-economic transformation. A better understanding of cities and how they relate both to the rural and urban development is needed in view of the continuous changes in development. This paper argues that many of Africa‟s development problems such as poverty and food insecurity are best tackled through approaches that recognise the links between the two. Further, the paper proposes the “Kizuna” approach, which emphasises strong symbiotic bonds between rural and urban communities to addressing most problems that face the African society. Moreover, the paper argues that elements of „Kizuna‟ are already evident in the various social networks and kinships that guide the interactions between rural and urban dwellers in Africa. However, these bonds still need formal recognition and deliberate policy interventions aimed at enhancing their potential to foster poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Keywords: Rural-urban-continuum, livelihood options, environmental damage, sustainable development, Kizuna