Author(s): Riddell JB, Harvey ME
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Abstract PIP: Based upon empirical evidence and indirect inference and observation, and upon a solid theoretical basis founded on concepts of sociocultural distance and the difficulty of the rural-urban transition, stepwise movement seems to be an important aspect of migration to urban centers in tropical Africa. People move for many reasons and to many different types of destinations, the city being 1 of these. In turn, stepwise migration is an important subcomponent of the urbanward drift of people. In investigating the complex migration process in Sierra Leone and the role of the urban system within it, 2 approaches were used. The 1st technique is very general and is derived from the Nystuen and Dacey graph theory analysis of nodal regions. Instead of the maximum outflows of cities, the dominant relations among the chiefdoms of Sierra Leone were investigated in terms of the pattern of population moves. Thus, rural-rural, rural-urban, and urban-urban flows were considered simultaneously. The urban hierarchy is defined simply as a 3 tiered system comprising the capital city of Freetown as the highest level, the 12 district headquarter towns as the middle tier, and the rural areas as the lowest. If the migration pattern of Sierra Leone were simply a process of movement through an urban system, a very regular pattern of "largest flow links" would occur focusing upon the major towns and cities. When this pattern is compared with that resulting from a reduction of the actual flow matrix, it can be seen that there would appear to be some reason to support the contentions of the model in certain, specific parts of the country, but not in others. The 2 maps are quite dissimilar, and not even the inclusion of the 2nd largest flow for each chiefdom assists in a replication of the "expected" pattern. A correlation of the coincidence of vectors on the 2 maps indicates that there is no significant relationship between the actual and expected pattersn. Hence, one would tend to reject the hypothesis of the operation of a stepwise migration pattern in Sierra Leone. Yet, this conclusion has to be qualified in terms of certain conditions and for certain areas within the country. While most of the districts do not conform, some do, notably Bo, Pujehun, and Kenema. The remainder of the country fails to conform to what would be considered as conditions ideal for a stepwise pattern of movement. It appears from this cursory investigation that the stepwise model of population movement through an urban system is a viable and structurally dominant pattern of population integration only in the absence of certain deviation causing characteristics such as weak local urban focus, relative proximity to larger urban center, isolation from intermediate urban center, and other, nonurban attractive forces impinging upon the migration process. A 2nd indirect model of testing the stepwide model is through simple regression analysis. Comparison of the regression coefficients or slopes for each chiefdom with the relative proportion of the population residing in urban places yields inconclusive results.
This article was published in Econ Geogr
and referenced in Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review