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Evolution and Growth of Urban Centres in the North-West Province (Cameroon)

Case Studies (Bamenda, Kumbo, Mbengwi, Nkambe, Wum)


Christopher M. Awambeng

This pioneer regional scale work studies the cases of Bamenda, Kumbo, Mbengwi, Nkambe and Wum as centres and points of nucleation in their urban process. What is fundamentally urban-like in each case? These representative centres have had to abandon or adapt inherited traditional rural ways for the urbanising and modernising culture. Traditional settlements were spatially scattered although with an underlining organisational notion of specialisation and centrality discernible. With the urban geographical concept and transdisciplinary approach of «evolution» and «growth», the work further illustrates, across the indices of demography and the function-activity of some public services and economic sectors, that the cases are centrally actively becoming urban. This observation results from complementary forces which lend themselves unequally, for example, greatest in the provincial primate centre of Bamenda than in the other small pro-traditional urbanising places.
Contents: Ethno-settlement geography of centres: implantation of people and settlements, traditional economy. Internal structural urban-based growth analysis: evolution, typology of socio-cultural and commercial activities.