Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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GEBREHIWOT Gebreslassie, Department of Civics, Mekelle University, Ethiopia

Paper presenters:

FIREHIWOT Sintayehu; ZIADA Abdelhadi; ZENAWI Gebremeskel; ABERA Anjulo



FIREHIWOT Sintayehu, Addis Ababa University, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Ethiopia

International migration trends from Ethiopia are increasing over time and cost the lives of many emanating from its irregularity. As a result, the Government of Ethiopia has acknowledged migration as a major policy issue in more recent years. While considering the problem of migration in Ethiopia, understanding the extent of it in Addis Ababa is evident as an IOM study revealed that the city contributes 16.3% of Ethiopian migrants; one in every forty people migrated from Addis Ababa in 2016. Numerous youth, whose exact figures remain undocumented, travel to second countries in Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), Europe and South Africa using the irregular path. While studying migration, the trend is to place emphasis on structural push-pull factors which ignores additional dynamisms which reinforce and exacerbate the rate of migration. The present study puts forward the argument that there is a need to recognize that structural challenges such as unemployment/underemployment and other manifestations of poverty may lead to migration through the operation of meso factors such as networks and middle-men as well as micro-level individual motivations and experiences. Policy responses from the Government of Ethiopia are found to have downsides in order to deter the influx of irregular migrants to various migration partly because of the challenges of implementation including insufficient budget and manpower and also because of less emphasis on the meso and micro determinants of migration. Hence, youth migration in Addis Ababa is explained by looking into these meso and micro factors along with their possible interaction with macro issues such as structural causes of migration and state policies. In order to achieve the main objective of the research, key informant interviews with prospective migrants, returnees, and relevant government officials are conducted in parts of the city where migration has become normative in the day-to-day lives of inhabitants.



ZIADA Abdelhadi, lecturer
ZENAWI Gebremeskel, Department of Socioology, CSSL, Mekelle University, Ethiopia

The study investigated the interlinked causes and challenges of child migrants in Mekelle. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed to generate relevant data as exhaustively as possible through in-depth interviews, observation, key informant interviews, and a sample survey. The data was collected from 370 selected child respondents. Descriptive statistics (such as frequency, percentage and mean), chisqure test for association, and binary regression have been employed as data analysis tool.

The migrants were chosen according to major socio-demographic variables, that is majorities were not constituted by legal minors, followers of orthodox Christianity, children with primary education and from surrounding rural areas in the region.In addition, 17.3 % of minors compared with 82.7 % of non-minors were male. Migration of children and migration in general takes place in a range of circumstances broader than the legal context. This includes migration entered voluntarily and forced migration. The state of migration also affects their hire status in which 6.8 % of minors compared with 93.2 % of non-minors were hired through legal broker agencies. Further, the prevalence of economic problems at source, conflicts with parents or other family members, play a significant role as push factors. Seeking better education, employment opportunities, technology, infrastructure, and peer pressure are additional factors. At the destination, the migrants were vulnerable to labor exploitation, school dropout, economic crises, and health problems.

The findings show that children migrate because of many 'push and pull factors' at source and destination areas respectively. The high numbers of children who migrated were attracted by city life and escaping the problems at home. However, their movements are not always safe. They face challenges while transported and then after arrival at the destination.



ABERA Anjulo

The primary aim of this study is to conduct an anthropological analysis on Walaita child migrants’ expectations and challenges in the context of Addis Ababa. The study further focuses on an assessment of the driving factors for children to migrate, to investigate the role of gifata and to describe the urban life opportunities and challenges that are encountered by migrant children. In contrast to their expectation before departure the children had to choose different survival strategies. In order to achieve the proposed objectives instruments like Semi structured interview, Focus Group Discussions, Observation, Survey Questionnaires and other secondary data sources were used. The collected data were analyzed mainly by qualitative methods and were supported by some quantitative data. In addition, quantitative data were collected and analyzed to triangulate the qualitative data in descriptive forms. The study found out that the migration of children into the study area is caused by a number of different factors such as poverty, culture, tradition and trends of adult migration, peer pressure, lack of access to jobs for those who completed higher education, fragmentation of land and change of weather conditions resulting in insufficient production. As a result, children felt obliged to drop out from school and migrate to the city in search of better employment in the informal sector to support themselves and their families. The children listening to the tales of earlier migrants who have achieved some small successes and talk about them when visiting their families during gifata, start dreaming about a better future. The study shows that, contrary to early expectations, migrant children have to cope with many challenges in the course of looking and finding work in the new areas. They are expected to work the whole day long, travel long distances exposed to hot and cold weather conditions, suffer abuse from different bodies, are faced with the high cost of food and rent. Furthermore, they lost their places at school in the departure and destination areas without hope of better opportunities as expected earlier on. Living in the city needs maximum effort to cope with the existing challenges in living quarters and working areas.