Belindah Okello, Challenges of Integration: A Case Study of the migrant Luo in Mombasa Kenya, 1902-2015

Kenya has experienced challenges of integration of ethnic groups living outside their areas of ethnic origin. This study seeks to examine the causes and historical course of these challenges by studying the migrant Luo population in Mombasa Kenya. The study intends to analyse the processes of migration of the Luo from Western Kenya to Mombasa; the integration strategies they have applied to survive in their new homeland; their experiences of ethnicity and identity; and the role they have played in shaping and developing Mombasa’s landscape politically, economically and socially. The proposed study will be guided by postcolonial theory to evaluate developments and changes in ethnic relations brought on by the colonial experience. This study is particularly important as it will provide an opportunity to understand the immigrant experience in Kenya, and thus come up with strategies to help immigrant groups integrate into their new homelands. The proposed study shall be descriptive, and will utilise qualitative research design. Primary sources for the proposed study will include records from the Kenya National Archives and government records on the migrant population in Mombasa, and the city’s social, political and economic development. These will be complimented by information collected through interviews with key informants. Secondary data will be from published works on migrants, and the historical development of Mombasa town from the onset of colonialism. Data analysis and interpretation will then be carried out in line with the objectives, thereafter forming the tentative chapters in the final analysis. The results of this proposed study can be applied in coming up with policies that will enable peaceful co-existence between migrant communities and local hosts, and thus minimalize ethnic instigated conflicts common in Kenya.

Researcher supervising: 
Other supervisor(s): 
Dr Walter Nkwi (Leiden University)
Project status: 
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