24/11/2021 – UNU-MERIT/MGSoG Migration Semiar “Moving stories: Refugees and vulnerable migrants in Central Africa”

While South-North migration tends to receive a lot of attention, forced migration within the Global South is seldom placed in the spotlight. This is despite the numbers: 85% of the world’s refugees find refuge in developing countries. In Africa, for instance, Uganda alone counts 1.4 million refugees in its territory. But, countries from which people flee, equally host refugees. This is the case of DR Congo, which is both a country of origin (there are almost a million of Congolese refugees in other African countries) and a host country (DR Congo hosts over half a million of refugees from the region). Statistics are more than just numbers, behind the numbers there are people. In the past decade, I have carried research on mobility in Central and East Africa (mainly DR Congo, the Central African Republic, and Tanzania). My approach is qualitative, ethnographic, and longitudinal. I have followed, among others, student-refugees who moved from Bangui (CAR) to Kinshasa (DR Congo), and Congolese women who were forced to leave their homes in Eastern Congo in the hope of finding peace in Dar es Salaam. My study hence focuses on urban refugees, their multiple trajectories, their livelihoods, but also on the ways these mobile people find ways to give meaning to their lives under duress.

About the speaker

Catherina Wilson works as a lecturer and post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for History, Leiden University. She is currently involved in TRAFIG, a project that looks at mobility and connectivity as solutions to protracted displacement amongst Congolese refugees in urban Tanzania and The Netherlands. Her interests include mobility, urban culture, youth and refugee studies in Central and East Africa.

For more information click here.