Time: 09:00-09:45
The Resource Centre (2nd floor)

Obumbashi’ Social Relations of Poverty in an African Urban Slum

The urbanisation of poverty reflects one of the most dramatic developments on the African continent. More than half of Africa’s population will soon live in cities and towns. 50 percent of Africa’s poor are expected to live in urban slums by 2040. With reference to four shantytowns in the Namibian town Oshakati, Tvedten seeks to explain the marginalisation and social exclusion of the poorest in urban slums. He argues that the poorest contribute to their own destitution by acting in short-term and ad hoc ways which further trap them in destitution. He also argues that although women and female headed households may be poorer than male headed households, they utilize their resources more effectively through female networks which reduce their vulnerability and lead to greater social mobility. This effectively marginalises poor men.

Inge Tvedten is a social anthropologist and Senior Researcher at CMI.