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The transnational movements of Africans within the continent are seldom conceptualised as leading to diasporic identifications and relationships. In start contrast, the migration of Africans beyond the continent, which occurs on a smaller scale, is routinely associated with diaspora formation. Drawing on fieldwork with migrants from Anglophone and Francophone West Africa and the Horn of Africa living in Lusaka and Kampala, this paper explores whether their movements give rise to the formation of diasporic connections that sustain and reproduce identifications with the place and people of origin, over distance and through generations. The analysis illustrates how different layers of 'origin' and 'destination' factors interact to reinforce or undermine diasporic identifications in Africa's urban landscapes. The homeland where mobility is embedded in socioeconomic relations that embrace transnational linkages may perpetuate connections. The conditions of urban life that impose pressures to remain outsiders may perpetuate exclusion and hinder integration.

More information Original publication



Journal article

Publication Date





280 - 300


Diaspora formation, Africa, migration, belonging, transnationalism, reproduction of identities