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Burton, Andrew (2000) Wahuni, the undesirables: African urbanisation, crime and colonial order in Dar es Salaam, 1919-1961. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis examines African urbanisation in Dar es Salaam in the British colonial period and the official response to this phenomenon. It is divided into three parts. In Part One colonial urban policy is discussed. British officials initially showed a marked antipathy towards African urbanisation. The true home of the African was considered to be in the rural areas where his tribal society not only catered for his social and economic needs but also provided a medium through which he could conveniently be administered. Beginning in the 1940s there was a revision of colonial policy. The inevitable growth of permanent African urban communities was acknowledged. An attempt was made to nurture a 'respectable' class of urban African. At the same time, however, antipathy towards urbanisation persisted. Officials continued to display concern about the deleterious effects of the urban environment on the 'upcountry native', and in particular the growing problem of unemployment. Part Two is concerned with crime in Dar es Salaam. The most immediate aspect which informed official antipathy to African urbanisation was its role in the spread of criminality. Anxiety over the presence of growing numbers of Africans in the capital, many of whom had no regular formal employment, was closely associated with the problem of urban lawlessness, which grew ever more serious as the years passed. This lawlessness was in part a product of strict colonial legislation which criminalised both customary and informal economic activities. In the final part of the thesis, attempts to control urban growth are examined. Throughout the colonial period Tanganyikan officials argued for the introduction of a pass system to stem the rural-urban flow. Political considerations ruled it out, however. Faced with a burgeoning urban population and limited resources with which to administer it, colonial officials increasingly resorted to the expulsion of Africans from the town back to their rural 'homes'.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:02

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