ISBN 9789956558759
Pages 160
Dimensions 229 x 152 mm
Published 2008
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Urban Appropriation and Transformation

Bicycle Taxi and Handcart Operators

by Ignasio Malizani Jimu

This book is about emerging informal responses to unemployment in Malawi. To the bicycle taxi and handcart operators who are at the centre of the book, informality is a means for negotiating newer experiences and challenges associated with urbanisation. Jimu richly documents how informal economy activities continue to represent grassroots responses to widespread poverty, unavailability of meaningful employment opportunities and the failure of the state as well as the private and the non-state sectors to respond to escalating demand for formal sector jobs. Multiplicity of activities and straddling urban and rural opportunities are strategies employed to deal with opportunity impermanence and maximize returns from various low paying tasks and jobs. While these activities have grown without state support, state involvement is necessary to regulate and promote the welfare of the workers in the sector as well as that of the users of their service and the general public. This will require constructive engagement among the operators, users of their services, local government, and various state agencies.

Book Preview


"If you have never pushed or pulled a handcart through the streets of an African city, this well researched book will give insight into the experience and how it and other forms of indigenous commerce straddle urban and rural realities and shape socio-economic landscapes of the 21st century. Issues are framed in an historical analysis of national development policy useful to urban planners and dwellers and those engaged in rural development as well us ordinary people."

Kathryn Toure, Regional Director of the West and Central Africa Office of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada

About the Author

Ignasio Malizani Jimu

Ignasio Malizani Jimu received his PhD from Universität Basel, Switzerland, in 2011. Prior to that he received the Master of Arts in Development Studies (University of Botswana) and a Bachelor of Education (University of Malawi). He is author of Urban Appropriation and Transformation (Langaa 2008), several journal articles and book chapters on development theory and practice, among others. Since 2009 he has held the position of associate professor of geography in Mzuzu University, where he serves as head of department.

Related Books