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Accepted Paper:

Managing urban uncertainties through social capital in Jigjiga, Ethiopia  
Asebe Tufa (Addis Ababa University) Mercy Fekadu Mulugeta (Addis Ababa University) Edegilign Hailu Woldegebrael (Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University) Fana Gebresenbet Erda (Institute for Peace and Security Studies)

Paper short abstract:

Ethiopia is experiencing rapid urbanization and urban violence and conflict are on the rise. Many urban centers are characterized by inability to provide necessities and manage instabilities. In this, a multitude of social capitals contribute to address the uncertainties arising from conflict.

Paper long abstract:

Various forms of violence, conflict and displacement are increasingly on the agenda of urban Africa, including Ethiopia. Although many studies have focused on its causes and consequences, little is known about the multiple mechanisms people use to cope with conflict and displacement processes. The aim of this study was to explore the place of social capitals in managing the uncertainties caused by conflicts in the urban areas of Ethiopia, Jigjiga. Iterative data collection was carried out from June to November 2022 using key informant and life story interviews and 55 key persons, IDPs, refugees, and host communities were contacted and analyzed thematically. The results show how various forms of social capital have helped to deal with uncertainty during conflict and displacement. Internally displaced persons induced by the 2018 conflict in Jigjiga have re-integrated and reclaimed their properties and places faster and social capital has played an important role in this process. Diverse types of indigenous social capital, ranging from personal acquaintance to social institutions, including residence-based, religious, clan and ethnic networks played a key role. The study shows that although formal government institutions contribute, the people trust and rely more on their social ties to survive the conflict and reintegrate. But politically motivated conflicts have weakened the existence and strength of bridging institutions, and resulted in the increasing segregation of people along ethnic lines, which caused the mistrust and tension between residents, and hence there is a need to promote such institutions to maintain a secured and cohesive society.

Panel Urba13
Migration and the making of urban futures in Africa
  Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -