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From labour settlement to cosmopolitan city: dynamics of migration and urbanisation in Enugu’s development, 1915-1990

Okezie Odoemene, University of Ibadan
Akachi C. Odoemene, University of Ibadan

Enugu city, one of the ‘new towns’ of tropical Africa which arose as a result of contact with Europe, witnessed an ‘unprecedented’ population growth right from its colonial origins well into the post-colonial era. Immigration into the city was unrestricted, uncontrolled and undirected, and involved peoples of diverse cultures and varied areas of life. The resultant effect was dramatic cosmopolitanism and urbanisation. This paper explores the historical sociology of development of Enugu city, southeastern Nigeria. It interrogates the trends and patterns of migration, and the dynamics of urban development that engendered change and eventually led to the expansion and growth of a hitherto unknown colonial labour settlement into a coalescence of a cosmopolitan city with significant locational importance. Indeed, the nature of the interactions between migration and urbanisation in Enugu’s development draws attention to the complex socio-economic relations between and among migrants and the government, be it colonial or indigenous.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Poster Session 3: migration, environment and spatial demography