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The urban landscape in north-western Namibia – a production of healthcare and warfare spatialities
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5295-2482
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This presentation conveys the history of the present-day urban pattern in north-western Namibia as a coproduction of missionary and South African healthcare and warfare endeavors. In the late 19th century Finnish missionaries arrived in Namibia. Over the next fifty years their evangelical and healthcare activities proliferated in a number of places in the area in question, where before there had been conglomerations of scattered farms. The missionary activities included construction of physical infrastructure, such as clinics and churches. From 1966 the South African apartheid government entered the scene. The next twenty years saw a governmental healthcare provision that was associated with the South African war against the liberation movement. Not only army bases but also hospitals were constructed for strategic military reasons. Since the missionaries were identified by the South Africans as taking the liberation movement’s side in this conflict, the South African physical infrastructure was constructed in the same places as the missionary stations. These bases and hospitals/clinics attracted people who were looking for jobs, with the consequence that settlements started to grow in these places. The South Africans’ administration also contributed to the burgeoning urbanization with the provision of housing for administrative staff and military personnel. Private and public companies opened workshops and shops which further attracted local people in search for jobs. This consolidated the geography that the missionaries had initiated, and generated an urban landscape in north-western Namibia which now, twenty years after the war ended and Namibian independence was gained, has evolved into municipalities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
medical space, urbanization, Namibia
National Category
History Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110014OAI: diva2:742111
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2014, 27-30 August 2014, London, UK
Available from: 2014-08-31 Created: 2014-08-31 Last updated: 2015-04-22

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Nord, Catharina
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NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later LifeFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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