Migrants and Proletarians: Urban Labour in the Economic Development of Uganda

Migrants and Proletarians: Urban Labour in the Economic Development of Uganda

Migrants and Proletarians: Urban Labour in the Economic Development of Uganda

Migrants and Proletarians: Urban Labour in the Economic Development of Uganda

Excerpt

LABOUR in economic development conjures up for many an image of peasants, once prosperous, packing their bags and streaming from an impoverished countryside to the towns, to man new factories and to start a new life -- the life of urban proletarians. But economies develop in diverse ways, and this book is an attempt to show how in one country, Uganda in East Africa, a very different pattern has emerged, in which there is a perpetual flow between town and country and in which, although the towns are growing, there are few signs of the growth of an urban working class.

The study on which this book is based was restricted in compass and was carried out at a leisurely pace. The greater part of my inquiry took the form of a series of visits to some twenty factories, workshops and other industrial undertakings, most of them in Kampala and its environs, but some also in Jinja and Mbale. I visited cigarette factories, a bottling plant, furniture works, bakeries, oil and maize mills, cotton ginneries, repairing garages, engineering workshops, brickfields, a petrol depot, and a tea-packing factory. I also visited two farming estates on the outskirts of Kampala, the Central Workshop of the Public Works Department, and the Town Engineer's Department of the Kampala Municipality.

My choice of undertakings was not random, but was determined partly by a desire to study a variety of problems, partly by who was willing to open their door to me, and partly by who was likely to have records which made systematic study feasible. The last consideration also determined largely the length of my visits. Sometimes I stayed for only a few days, but in several instances it proved profitable to stay for several weeks. I stayed for two months at the first factory that I visited -- not because I could not have done my work more quickly, but because I

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