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Rural-Urban Dynamics in the East African Mountains

Sylvain Racaud
Bob R. Nakileza
François Bart
et al.

Part 3

Mobility for Better Livelihood?

Texte intégral

1Mobility is one of the key bases of the increasing rural-urban linkages: there are more and more all-weather roads connecting the mountain country-side with neighbouring towns, even far away cities (Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi); many farmers use mobile phones, especially to get information about transport opportunities and staple commodity prices. The main stake relating to rural-urban mobility is how much it favours livelihood.

2Most farmers fight to access a better livelihood, but have to face growing difficulties: in those overpopulated rural areas, access to land is more and more scarce for youth; and the new transport facilities (tarmac roads, motocycles, trucks etc.), especially to markets and towns, associated with TIC (Internet, mobile phones etc.) urge many households to include the urban opportunities in their socio-economical plan.

3Each of the three papers - one for each country -, points out the impact of mobility on the rural-urban systems. People seeking jobs try to get some money from urban activities, but many of them try to keep strong links with their village. Around each of the mountains towns, for example Mbeya (Tanzania), Mbale (Uganda) and Nyeri (Kenya), livelihoods depend not only on the market activities (commercial flows rural-urban and urban-rural), but also on daily commuting between rural and urban. In many places too, shamba small-holders are connected with city dwellers and workers, through mobile phones; and in the rural markets most of the sellers get information about the prices in the town using mobiles. Most of the livelihood strategies are now based on mobility and flows both in rural and urban activities.

© Africae, 2016

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