The panel aims at identifying and discussing the features of urban-rural migration and movement, the factors of attraction involved, migratory and livelihood dynamics and new strategies and features of the settlements, towns and cities.
While the debate on the inevitability of explosive urbanisation in Africa appears to be over, new dynamics involving both the private and government enterprises in the rural areas gradually pull, voluntarily and involuntarily, the urban dwellers and rural migrants to new forms of urban settlement in and out of the main cities. The panel aims at identifying and discussing the features and trends of such movement and settlement in diverse African contexts, particularly in a global setting of economic crisis, new opportunities beyond the major cities, exuberant projects of urban modernisation, and more expressive international migratory flows. How attractive are rural opportunities in agriculture, mining, border trade or tourism projects to the poor and vulnerable in the cities? How are new urban strategies and sociabilities resulting from urban expansion of new modern projects? How are these opportunities and strategies combined in rural-urban livelihoods? How does internal migration and movement relate and combine with the strategies linked to international migration? The panel aims at bringing to the fore the possible comparisons between the African tendencies and those of other world contexts, as well as comparing the African cases within their own specificities. Moreover, it will be an opportunity to re-activate the urban-rural discussion in a renewed perspective.