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    A critical study of major rural and urban development issues and problems in developing countries.

    The paper provides a wide-ranging introduction to development and change across the African continent. Environmental, political, economic and social patterns and processes are considered and future development strategies are critically evaluated.

    About this paper

    Paper title Transformations in Developing Countries
    Subject Geography
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    54 GEOG points
    GEOG 212
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Science

    The content of the paper assumes that students have undertaken at least one introductory paper at University that covers a related topic.

    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinators: Professor JA (Tony) Binns and Professor Etienne Nel

    Paper Structure

    Part 1 Introduction

    • Introduction to the course
    • Africa's diversity
    • Africa's historical record

    Part 2 Rural Africa

    • Rural Livelihoods
    • Pastoralism
    • Wetlands and irrigation

    Part 3 Urban Africa

    • Patterns and processes in African urbanisation

    Part 4 Key Issues

    • Conflict and post-conflict
    • Famine and famine relief
    • Health and welfare

    Part 5 Urban Africa

    • Development strategies
    • Local economic development
    • African Union and regional collaboration
    • Future development priorities

    Assessment is 60% internal (on-going during the semester) and 40% external (final examination).

    Teaching Arrangements

    Two lectures per week.
    Five 50-minute tutorials and six 50-minute seminars scheduled over the 13 weeks of semester.


    Binns, T., Dixon, A. and Nel, E. (2012) Africa: Diversity and Development. London, Routledge, ISBN: 978-0-415-41368-8.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Communication, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will have:

    • An understanding of the key concepts in development
    • An appreciation of the physical and human diversity in Africa
    • An understanding of the development challenges facing Africa in the 21st century
    • An ability to evaluate development problems and processes in Africa using a wide range of primary and secondary materials


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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