Unearthing treasure and trouble: mining as an impetus to urbanisation in Tanzania

Abstract

Despite an abundance of mineral wealth and an ancient history of gold trading, Tanzania is a relative latecomer to the experience of being a mineral-dominated national economy. Both the British colonial state and Nyerere's post-colonial state avoided encouraging, and only reluctantly provided support to, large- and small-scale mining. Farming constituted the livelihood for the vast majority of the population and peasant agricultural exports provided the main source of foreign exchange for the country. Now, however, Tanzania has become one of Africa's main gold producers and the number one destination for non-oil foreign direct investment after South Africa. This article traces the development of gold mining and urban growth in Tanzania with the aim of identifying if, when and where these two processes interact with one another. It explores the triggers, mechanisms and durability of their fusion and synergies over time.

Citation

Bryceson, D.F.; Jønsson, J.B.; Kinabo, C.; Shand, M. Unearthing treasure and trouble: mining as an impetus to urbanisation in Tanzania. Journal of Contemporary African Studies (2012) 30 (4) 631-649. [DOI: 10.1080/02589001.2012.724866]

Unearthing treasure and trouble: mining as an impetus to urbanisation in Tanzania

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