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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Role of Small Urban Centers in Kenya's National Development
Authors:Ngethe, Njuguna
Ngunyi, Mutahi
Periodical:African Urban Quarterly (ISSN 0747-6108)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Kenya
East Africa
economic development
small towns
Urbanization and Migration
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
government policy
Abstract:This paper offers a historical background to the urbanization process in Kenya before examining the different government policies and strategies on urban development. Official policy on urbanization has been aimed at rural-urban balance, growth with distribution, enhanced physical and sectoral linkages, and efficient management of urban growth. Basic strategies have been the 'selective dispersal'-'selective concentration' strategy, the 'service centres' strategy, the 'growth centres' strategy, and the 'rural trade and production centres' strategy. Small urban centres are expected to contribute to Kenya's national development. They have a key role to play in the field of agriculture, providing farm inputs and employment in off-farm activities, and creating a demand for consumer products. They are significant nodes with respect to employment generation, the informal sector, the creation of rural-urban linkages, industrialization and, to a lesser extent, the curbing of rural-urban migration. The fate of small urban centres in Kenya is intertwined with that of rural and agricultural development. Agriculture and rural development should, therefore, be viewed as integral aspects of 'rural urbanization'. Bibliogr., sum.