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Integration and instability: the resilience of urban refugees in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
1  Centre for International Development, Northumbria University Newcastle


Recent global trends have seen a steady increase in both the levels of urbanisation and forced displacement worldwide. This nexus of challenges is evident in the Great Lakes region of sub-Saharan Africa, where protracted conflicts have produced large populations of refugees, in tandem with the rapid growth of cities such as Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. For an urban municipality, the presence of a burgeoning urban refugee population in Dar es Salaam presents a number of difficulties. As a city with 5.6% annual growth, Tanzania’s primary city is already struggling to contend with migration from rural areas, poor infrastructure, the effects of climate change and widespread informality. To successfully integrate refugees into a host community with whom they will have to complete with for employment and access to basic services requires the municipality to support the refugees’ own resilience strategies, and facilitate wider community resilience through urban institutions. This paper will examine what types of resilience strategies have emerged, both at an individual and institutional level in Dar es Salaam, as a consequence of the urbanisation-displacement nexus. Using Ager and Strang’s integration framework, the limitations and opportunities inherent to creating a more inclusive space in the city will be considered.

Keywords: Urban refugees; displacement; integration; Sub-Saharan Africa