chapter  4
26 Pages

Cyclical Change in African Settlement and Modern Resettlement Programs

ByMarilyn Silberfein

This chapter focuses on the interventions that took place in the colonial and post-colonial periods. Dispersed settlements had some capacity to provide protection against aggression or wild game. Homesteads were usually surrounded by a thom-branch or euphorbia hedge, which served to deter cattle stealing or wild animal incursions. The colonial administrators initially reacted with indifference to the widespread movement out of villages. Resettlement has also been part of national spatial planning strategies, especially in countries that hope to achieve greater rural-urban and center-periphery equity. Ethiopia’s resettlement program was different in one way from those already described: the location of many of the new villages was far removed from the home base of the participants. The Zambian villagization program shared one attribute in particular with its counterparts in other African countries, at least those that began in the late 1960s: a strong development component with an emphasis on the provision of services to stimulate change.