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A Brief Note On Uneven Sub National Growth

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Uneven sub-national growth is a significant policy issue, as there appears to be a trend in many low-income countries towards the widening of regional inequalities and correlated with rapid urbanisation, economic activities have become increasingly concentrated in space. Development does not take place at the same rate across all regions; several factors such as the distribution of resources, historic events and polio-economic structures of a given country can all impact its regional growth rates, thus it is important to try and understand the causes and effects of disparities in development trajectories across Africa’s sub-regions, so as to be able to adapt and create new policies supporting even growth.

Uneven development, in this
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For the purpose of avoiding what Thandika Mkandawire criticizes as “the leveling of the African political and economic landscape” apparent in previous literature on Africa, this essay will use examples from Nigeria and Uganda as supporting evidence. Both countries were chosen for this analysis, as their geographical position and make up, historicity and polio-economic development differ from each other, yet both have witnessed disparities in development across their sub-national regions. Accordingly, the following paragraphs will seek to identify the existing links between both cases as to the features, causes and effect of their uneven development.

In trying to explain the features of uneven development, J.G.Williamson (1965) assumed that regional disparities at first widen and then narrow with increasing levels of income. According to this view, growth is initially focused in a few core regions, but as development proceeds, more peripheral regions tend to catch up. However, Williamson’s hypothesis has proven difficult to verify empirically.

In more recent research within this field, empirical evidence has encouraged a general acceptance of the phenomena of uneven regional development and that it is not something that can necessarily be evaded or eliminated, as it is a prevalent feature of capitalist development. Concerned with this perceived inevitability of regional uneven development, a multiplicity of theories to explain and
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