The Contribution of Urban Refugees to the Economic Development of Host Nations: a Case Study of Uganda
Author: WAMIMBI DENIS
Supervisor: Laura Otaala
Resettling refugees was a last resort and only 1% were resettled (Velasquez, 2015, p.4). Urban refugees had different identities; for example, those under UNHCR; allowed and not allowed to settle in Kampala, unregistered and self-settled refugees, and the persecuted and vulnerable cases under the care of INTERAID (Macchiavello, 2003, p.3). The study examined the contributions and challenges of urban refugees to economic development and peace building in Uganda as host nation. The research employed phenomenological case study design, involving eight participants. In the study, the findings were: to question 1) the reasons for urban refugee presence in Uganda were both cost and opportunistic reasons, from wars to economic ends. 2) Urban Refugees were peaceful as there were more concerned with recovery from the effects of war and were humble in their relationship with the local community because they anticipate greater support from them; to question. Urban Refugees were highly motivated to work and picked on any job, even without capital. Refugees with skills and capital managed to establish retail outlets from which Ugandans bought items and paid taxes to the council; to question 3) The Urban refugees faced the challenges of immediate and negative-natural reaction to strangers, high taxes, being misunderstood, cheated, and xenophobic sentiments and cost of living that were equally being experienced by host communities; to question 4) there were advocacies by local traders for equal economic rights between urban refugees and host communities, while ordinary Ugandans preferred special considerations for national opportunities for development against their counterparts, the refugees. The status of urban refugees in Kampala City, Ugandaís capital city was impressive and very encouraging for policy makers and refugees -themselves. The phobic stunt was a shared emotion that strangers would encounter on their very first day of meeting, where integrating and building a mutually rewarding relationship with the host community gave rise to new emotions of happiness and prosperity in their endeavors alongside their hosts, felt more peaceful, found new homes, integrated well, and excelled at businesses as well as in various jobs they did for either fellow refugees or their hosts.