Departure of Europeans from Africa: what impacts on the cityscapes?

Aliyu Barau, Federal College of Education, Kano

Few decades ago substantial number of Europeans of diverse nationalities inhabited parts of Kano city. The peak of their concentration was in late-1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. However, by the mid-1980s the European population started to decline sharply. This study examines the nature of European population decline, their nationalities, jobs and the associated physical and socioeconomic implications on Kano city. Respondents interviewed were drawn from a randomly selected sample of former colleagues and associates of the Europeans. Interview was conducted with few Europeans that remain in Kano city. Field investigations were carried at the Nassarawa GRA, the former European quarters, where selection of affected and unaffected houses were examined to verify changes and impacts of Europeans' departure. The investigations were aided by analysis of old and new satellite imageries of the study area. The findings indicate that, densification phenomenon has set in atthe area making the physical environment to decline in its aesthetic and micro climatic values; standard European housing system abused; recreational spots vandalised; ornamental plantations and trees trimmed down ; and the once vibrant aviation and tourism industry suffocated. The study blames planning agencies for doctoring and scrambling the planned European settlements. It is observed that Europeans on business and technical missions in Kano appear to have slimmer but more expensive options of accommodation at Kano. In the main, the departure of Europeans was induced by growth of African human capital and also the terrible economic depression. The pocket Europeans still residing at the GRA is quite insignificant to make impact felt on the wider cityscape through spatial and social cohesion among the whites as in the past. Keywords: Europeans, cityscape, population, departure, Kano city.

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Presented in Poster Session 2