Makesure Chinyamakobvu, Jemitias Mapira, Nyashadzashe Ngaza


The growth pole theory originates from Francois Perroux, a French economist who visualized growth poles in economic space (Perroux, 1955). As such, his theory had nothing to do with physical or geographical space (Glasson, 1978). In fact, Perroux was mainly concerned with interactions among industrial sectors rather than spatial development processes (Hansen, 1981). However, geographers and planners adopted his theory for planning purposes. In this way, they developed the growth center theory. Some of the proponents of this theory were Boudeville, Friedmann, Myrdal and Hirschman. The growth center theory was first applied in European countries such as Britain, France and Italy in order to address the problems of economically depressed regions. Later on the strategy was adopted in developing nations of Latin America, Asia and Africa. In colonial Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), it was adopted in 1969 with the aim of decongesting major urban centers such as Salisbury (Harare), Bulawayo, Gwelo (Gweru) and Umtali (Mutare). However, the main problem of colonial growth points was the racial context in which they were conceived. At independence in 1980, the new black government adopted growth centers or growth points as a national strategy for rural development (Underwood, 1986). While colonial growth centers were introduced under the Tribal Trust Land Corporation (TILCOR), those of the post-colonial era are under the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA). This study examines the challenges and prospects of Murewa growth point before and after independence in 1980.


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