Accepted paper:

Labour Agents’ Recruiting & Escort Activities Along a Colonial Boundary in North-east Namibia


Kletus Likuwa (University of Namibia)

Paper short abstract:

The paper will explain the recruiting and escort activities by colonial labour agents along a colonial boundary and will provide lessons to contextualize labour recruitment and escort in independent Namibia.

Paper long abstract:

By blending qualitative methods of written sources (both literature review and archival documents) and labour narratives of former contract labourers in Namibia, the paper will explain the recruiting and escort activities by colonial labour agents and will analyze how the colonial boundary impacted on their recruitment and escort missions and what impacts labour recruitments held on the livelihood of the labour agents. Specifically, it asks: who were the colonial labour agents and what were their activities? What impact did the Kavango River as a colonial boundary have on the recruiting and escort activities of the labour agents; how did the local people respond to the activities of these labour agents; what were the impacts of recruitment and escort activities on labour agents livelihood and; what lessons do colonial recruiting and escort activities hold for labour agents and recruitment activities in independent Namibia? Since there is inadequate research focus on the role and interaction with recruiting agents in labour recruitments in Namibia, this study will help to shed more light on the central role of colonial labour agents on recruitment and mobility of contract labourers. It will also provide lessons helpful to contextualize the roles and activities of labour agents in independent Namibia and will thus make a significant contribution to knowledge on labour recruitment History in Namibia. This paper has been developed in collaboration with Napandulwe Shiweda.

panel P142
Migration and "in-between" Logistics: Recruiters, Agencies, Brokers and Transport Workers