Tracing diasporic identifications in Africa’s urban landscapes: evidence from Lusaka and Kampala

Oliver Bakewell, Naluwembe Binaisa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transnational movements of Africans within the continent are seldom conceptualized as leading to diasporic identifications and relationships. In stark contrast, the migration of Africans beyond the continent, which occurs on a smaller scale, is routinely associated with diaspora formation. Drawing on fieldwork with migrants from Anglophone and Francophone West Africa and the Horn of Africa living in Lusaka and Kampala, this paper explores whether their movements gives rise to the formation of diasporic connections that sustain and reproduce identifications with the place and people of origin, over distance and through generations. The analysis illustrates how different layers of ‘origin’ and ‘destination’ factors interact to reinforce or undermine diasporic identifications in Africa's urban landscapes. The homeland where mobility is embedded in socioeconomic relations that embrace transnational linkages may perpetuate connections. The conditions of urban life that impose pressures to remain outsiders may perpetuate exclusion and hinder integration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-300
Number of pages21
JournalEthnic and racial studies
Issue number2
Early online date14 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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