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Precarity in Angolan diamond mining towns, 1920–2014: tracing agency of the state, mining companies and urban households

  • Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues (a1) and Deborah Fahy Bryceson (a2)

Abstract

After nearly 30 years of civil war, Angola gained peace in 2002. The country's diamond and oil wealth affords the national government the means to pursue economic reconstruction and urban development. However, in the diamond-producing region of Lunda Sul, where intense fighting between MPLA and UNITA forces was waged, the legacy of war lingers on in the form of livelihood uncertainty and uneven access to the benefits of the state's urban development programmes. There are three main interactive agents of urban change: the Angolan state, the mining corporations, and not least urban residents. The period has been one of shifting alignments of responsibility for urban housing, livelihoods and welfare provisioning. Beyond the pressures of post-war adjustment, the wider context of global capital investment and labour market restructuring has introduced a new surge of corporate mining investment and differentiated patterns of prosperity and precarity in Lunda Sul.

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This article relies on Angolan field data collected under the auspices of the Urbanisation and Poverty in Mining Africa (UPIMA) research programme at the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow. We are grateful for funding from the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) RES-167-25-0488.

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Precarity in Angolan diamond mining towns, 1920–2014: tracing agency of the state, mining companies and urban households

  • Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues (a1) and Deborah Fahy Bryceson (a2)

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