Migrants, markets, and mayors: rising above the employment challenge in Africa’s secondary cities

Research on migration and urban development in Africa has primarily focused on larger cities and rural-to-urban migration. However, 97 percent of Africa’s urban centers have fewer than 300,000 inhabitants, and a sizable share of urban migrants come from other urban areas. A more holistic and dynamic perspective, incorporating migration flows along the full urban hierarchy, as well as urban-urban migrants, is needed to better understand and leverage migration for urban development. Migrants, Markets, and Mayors: Rising above the Employment Challenge in Africa’s Secondary Cities draws on demographic data, research literature, key informant interviews, and empirical research to better understand how migrants in Africa’s secondary cities fare in urban labor markets, how they affect aggregate urban productivity, and how mayors can leverage migrants’ potential to the benefit of all. It explores these questions across countries and four urban case settings: Jijiga in Ethiopia, Jinja in Uganda, and Jendouba and Kairouan in Tunisia.