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GEOG382 Transformations in Developing Countries

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.

Paper title Transformations in Developing Countries
Paper code GEOG382
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system