Workshop: IGC Tanzania on Urbanisation

The workshop was organised in order to disseminate findings from two recently-completed research streams within IGC Tanzania: first, Dr Hugh Wenban-Smith presented preliminary results from the first phase of his work on tracking historical urbanisation patterns throughout the country. The second presentation, by Dr. Matt Collin, looked at the results from two impact evaluations – one a randomised-control trial, and one a natural experiment – that examine the results of formalising land ownership in Dar es Salaam’s informal land settlements.

Participants came from the National Bureau of Statistics, Ardhi University, the University of Dar es Salaam, the World Bank, REPOA, Innovations for Poverty Action, and the Bank of Tanzania. Mr. Alphayo Kidata, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements, delivered the opening remarks. Following Dr. Wenban-Smith and Dr. Collin’s presentations, a panel discussion was held. The panel was chaired by Ms. Martina Kirchberger, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Issues discussed on the panel included: boundary changes, town planning, the role of the city council and general urban governance, the definition of ‘urban’ versus ‘rural’ enumeration areas, data availability, and prioritizing future research questions.

Historical urbanisation patterns in Tanzania (Dr Hugh Wenban-Smith)

Like many developing countries, Tanzania has urbanised rapidly since gaining independence in 1961. For example, the largest city – Dar es Salaam – had a population of about 250,000 in 1965 but had increased 20 times to 4.4 million by 2012. However, urbanisation in Africa does not seem to be the driver of economic growth that it is, for example, in Asia. It is important to try to understand why not. In the first phase of this research stream, census data going back to 1967 is used to track rural-urban migration at the regional level. One noteworthy finding is that despite rapid urbanisation, there has been a threefold increase in the rural population, adding to pressure on land and other resources in rural areas.

To aid analysis, three measures are proposed: the propensity for regional in-migration (P(rim)), the propensity for rural out-migration (P(rom)), and the propensity for urban in-migration (P(uim)). These allow us to estimate the flow of migrants from rural to urban areas, both within and beyond their regions. It may also capture flows to rural areas of other regions – a pattern which could be attributable to the rise of artisanal mining in Tanzania’s economy.

When regions are examined using these measures, marked differences in regional experience emerge, with some regions losing up to a third of their expected population while others gain substantially, the former usually also experiencing high rural out-migration. However, urban in-migration patterns are more varied. Going forward, work is planned to examine how faster growing regions differ from slower growing ones, period by period, and how these have been affected by changes in Tanzania’s economic development (villagisation, SAPs, mining, etc).

Informal land titling in Dar es Salaam (Dr Matt Collin)

Much of the growth of Dar es Salaam has been informal, which raises several important issues. One is the poverty and growth implications of formalizing land ownership. Households with insecure land tenure may be less likely to invest in that land. They may also be less able to access formal finance, since land titles can be used as collateral for loans. This research stream examined two projects and two types of land titling currently available in Tanzania: the shorter-term residential licenses (RLs; 2-5 years, renewable), and the longer-term certificate of the right to occupancy (CROs; 33-99 years).

In one study, a large-scaled land registry began to be built by the Government of Tanzania, supported by aerial photographs. Households captured by the photographs were included in the registry, and could apply for residential licenses. Those that were missed – by, for example, poor-quality aerial photos – were not included. This study is ongoing, with results to be expected in 2014. Outcome variables will include household welfare, household investment and perceived expropriation risk, access to credit and loan size, and land sales.

The second study was a randomized-control trial, where the financial barriers to obtaining a CRO were lowered for households in treatment areas. These households randomly received vouchers of varying amounts; this allowed researchers to map out the price-CRO demand curve. Preliminary results related to take-up were presented: households near to infrastructure upgrading were more likely to buy a CRO; a positive ‘neighbor effect’ on take-up; requiring co-titling with a female member of the household did not dampen demand. Further results are forthcoming.

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