Urbanization: the Path to Development and Democracy?
Mark Duffield’s comments are thoughtful but I would ask him a simple question. Is Khartoum that different from imperial cities like Delhi, Mexico City, Lima., Buenos Aires, in relation to their surrounding areas. So why is Khartoum singled out as an anomaly when virtually every Sub-Saharan African country exhibits the same trends in terms of the relationship of the capital city with the rest of the country. Are Addis, Nairobi, and Kampala that different? Despite all its faults, Khartoum does not have the ostentation of Nairobi and Addis– not so far.
My second question is whether the urban poor in terms of opportunity and enterprise are not better off than rural poor in Sudan and most developing countries? Or shall we always be on the lookout for the noble savage and the rural Shangri La’s that exist in people’s imagination. Urbanization is the path to equal representation and eventually a vibrant democracy.