Urbanization and Foreign Aid: Angola
Estimation reveals that the population of the world will grow from the current seven billion to 9.2 billion with most of this growth occurring in urban areas (United Nations, 2008)…
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Another possible definition of urbanization is the movement of people from communities with agriculture as the chief economic to communities whose primary activities are centered in government, trade, manufacture and allied activates. Urbanization is greatly picking up in developing countries, Angola inclusive and it brings its own sets of benefits and problems. The eminent problems are especially becoming a burden on central government and policy makers who experience a rough time in tackling them. This paper discusses three positive and three key negative effects that urbanization in Angola has brought explores the actions that its leaders are taking to address the severe problems through foreign aid. Angola has experienced fast rate of urbanization since its independence in 1975. With a majority 60 to 70 percent of Angolans thought to live in cities, Angola happens to be one of the most urbanized countries in the world (Vines & Weimer, 2011).
Exact data, however, not available owing to the fact that census has not been done in the country. As at 2008, 57% of the country’s population was living in urban areas (Mongabay, n.d.). The annual rate of urbanization is approximately 4.4%. However, the large urban population attributes to the country long civil wars that lasted 27 years after independence. The current estimates put the country’s population to be close to nineteen million, a third of whom reside in the capital city Luanda (Vines & Weimer, 2011). Despite the unstable economy for many years, urbanization has led to increased investment as the country aimed to provide for its people. Most of the investments, however, had to wait until the year 2002 for the civil war to end. With the end of the civil war, the country began reconstruction process. Its population mostly in urban centers needed services such as good housing, water, electricity, social and recreation facilities and so on. Through its domestic oil-based economy and foreign a lot of investments notably banking, housing, and accommodation have come up especially in Luanda (Jover, Pinto & Marchand, 2012). Today, Luanda ranks among the most expensive cities in the world. Many of the investments in the urban areas have further led to the creation of employment opportunities. Many Angolans have found a source of income from the businesses that have been concentrated in urban areas such as in banking, insurance, health and education, hotels and accommodation and so on. Employment opportunities offer a source of livelihoods to many Angolans and their quality of life consequently improves. Increased investments in urban areas also have contributed to an improved economic growth. The country, for example, benefits immensely from the Luanda airport. However, urbanization in Angola has brought more negative impacts than good. One of the most severe negative effects in Angola has been an increase in informal settlements and homelessness (Vines & Weimer, 2011). This is in contrast to the high level of urbanization and rapid economic growth in the country. It is estimated that about two thirds of its urban population is poor and lives in informal settlements (Vines and Weimer, 2011; Ammassari, 2005, Mongabay, n.d.). This situation arose due to the civil war that forced people to escape into the urban areas in quest for peace. Most of these people left and lost their property on the way and with no documentation or land tenure; they were forced into informal activities to make a living.
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