More youth migrating to Kampala-report

By Vision Reporter

More youth are flocking to Kampala from rural areas in a trend that calls for a radical shift in planning for the city and other urban areas findings of a new report set to be released shows.

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By Taddeo Bwambale

More youth are flocking to Kampala from rural areas in a trend that calls for a radical shift in planning for the city and other urban areas findings of a new report set to be released shows.

The ‘Rural-Urban Labour Migration of Young Ugandans’ study, whose findings are yet to be made public, shows that youth are migrating from rural areas in search of opportunities.

The study was commissioned by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to examine internal migration in Kampala.

The study identifies the four main drivers of youth migration to Kampala as search for education opportunities, family ties, trade and conflict.

“Many young people are attracted to the city, particularly the capital city Kampala, through the stories they have grown up hearing about the allure of urban life. These aspirations are fed by the example of other young Ugandans that left the village for a successful city life,” the report says.

According to the study, unemployment and the limited opportunities for wage employment are major factors in rural-urban youth migration in Uganda.

Quoting other sources, the report says 54% of youth are in wage employment and 43% are self-employed.  Overall, 92% of youth in Kampala are employed informally, the study reveals.

Remittances are shown as one of the major benefits that accrue from migration to benefit to the place of origin, although the report shows that many employed youths live through struggle.

The study is based on recent interviews of youth (between the ages of 18 and 30) who are living in Kampala, according to Dr Naluwembe Binaisa, the principal researcher.

In an interview with New Vision, Dr Naluwembe said the study was expected to help government in planning for the city and other metropolitan areas.

“The profile of internal youth migration in Uganda, like other African countries has not been an area of focus in the past, yet movement to urban areas is expected to rise,” she said.

It states that in many cases, majority of the youth come from large families and their wages play a critical role in the overall welfare of the family.

The report shows that the greatest number of jobs created in the formal sector is to be found in the Kampala corridor which covers Greater Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and Jinja.

“It is interesting to note that in our research sample we have youth who lived closer to some of the towns in the Kampala corridor but they still headed to the capital city,” the report reads.

An earlier analysis of internal migration patterns based on the 2002 census showed that Kampala and Wakiso district had the second highest rate of internal migration, after Kalangala district.

Kampala has at least 1.5 million residents, with a large share of migrants from other regions across the country.

By 2002, the city’s population was made up of just over 50% internal migrants but the study shows that this percentage is rising.

Most internal migrants to Kampala were from the central region while the Northern and Western regions experience rural to rural migration and internal migrants migrated within their region.

The findings of the new report are under review by a team of experts from several government bodies and international agencies.

Kyateka Mondo, the assistant commissioner for youth affairs at the ministry of gender said the high rate of urbanisation was good if the youth have access to employment and social services.

He said there was a positive trend of youth embracing agriculture with the help of start-up funding through government programmes such as the Youth Livelihood Programme.

“Majority of youth who have benefited from the scheme are in agriculture. The trouble is when youth leave rural areas after selling land, which has been the case in some areas,” Mondo said.

Uganda’s urbanisation rate is estimated at between 4.5% and 5.6%, although United Nations puts the share of the urban population at 16% for 2014, with projections it will be at 32% by 2050.


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