Mobile Africa

Changing Patterns of Movement in Africa and Beyond


This anthology deals with the complexity, variety and experience of all the forms of mobility we witness today in Sub-Saharan Africa. Three sets of issues are being discussed.
First, the concept of mobility itself is considered and how it is conceived of in distinction from sedentarity. Second, which forms of mobility can be distinguished, not only from the perspective of Western social sciences, but also from the perspective of people's own experiences, ideas, notions, etc? Social science in Africa has particularly focused on rural-urban migration, but it is clear that there are many other forms as well. Third, the concept of mobility concerns not only geographical space, but there are other 'spaces' to consider as well. In addition to 'forms of mobility' there is a 'mobility of forms' in which the perception of those other spaces plays a crucial role.
In short, the book intends to turn the whole notion of mobility as a supposedly rupturing phenomenon on its head, emphasizing that rather through travelling connections are established and continuity is experienced. We are challenged to delve into the traveller's mind, to think and follow their multi-spatial livelihoods and to explore what it means to people if they move in a variety of spaces.

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Mirjam de Bruijn is an anthropologist working on the theme of how people manage risk (drought, war, etc.) in the Sahel.
Rijk van Dijk is an anthropologist researching modern religion in Africa and in Ghana and Malawi in particular.
Dick Foeken is a human geographer whose present research interest concerns urban agriculture in Africa, especially in Kenya and Tanzania.

All three work at the African Studies Centre in Leiden, The Netherlands.
'With an enormous influx of African immigrants to Western Europe and the United States--comprising at least two generations at this point--the 'Mobile Africa' volume points us in some interesting analytical directions for understanding the tremendous movement of these groups in and around the contemporary West. This is an excellent collection of human scale studies with much wider applicability.'
Stephen Howard.

Maps vii
Tables viii
Preface ix

Mobile Africa: An introduction 1
Mirjam de Bruijn, Rijk van Dijk & Dick Foeken

Population mobility in Africa: An overview 9
Han van Dijk, Dick Foeken & Kiky van Til

Territorial and magical migrations in Tanzania 27
Todd Sanders

Moving into another spirit province: Immigrants and the Mhondoro cult in northern Zimbabwe 47
Marja Spierenburg

Cultures of travel: Fulbe pastoralists in Mali and Pentacostalism in Ghana 63
Mirjam de Bruijn, Han van Dijk & Rijk van Dijk

Mobile workers, urban employment and ‘rural’ identities: Rural-urban networks of Buhera migrants, Zimbabwe 89
Jens A. Andersson

Migration as a positive response to opportunity and context: The case of Welo, Ethiopia 107
Jonathan Baker

Multi-spatial livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa: Rural farming by urban households The case of Nakuru town, Kenya 125
Dick Foeken & Samuel O. Owuor

Urbanization and migration in Sub-Saharan Africa: Changing patterns and trends 141
Cecilia Tacoli

Processes and types of pastoral migration in northern Côte d’Ivoire 153
Youssouf Diallo

Mobility and exclusion: Conflicts between autochthons and allochthons during political liberalization in Cameroon 169
Piet Konings

Population displacement and the humanitarian aid regime: The experience of refugees in East Africa 195
Patricia Daley

List of authors 213
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