The impact of rural-urban migration to youth livelihoods in Tanzania .
The Case of Mbeya City
This paper discusses the impact of rural-urban migration to youth livelihoods in Mbeya city, Tanzania. In this research based on a study conducted in 2008. A sample of 200 youths was randomly drawn from wards and village/mtaa levels. This is an exploratory design study and was not guided by any pre- assumptions such as hypotheses but rather used research questions. Methods of data collection included interviews with the youth and key informants, focus group discussions, questionnaires and non-participant observations. The methods used for analysis were both qualitative and quantitative. The descriptive approach was used essentially in generating statistics. The paper focused on identifying push and pulls factors of youth migration from rural to urban areas. Poverty, to be precise, in the rural areas was one of the major factors pushing people from the rural areas, while availability of non-farm activities in the urban areas were pull factor attracting young people to urban areas. However, it showed that the majority of youths lacked formal education and necessary vocational skills to be employed in the urban labour market. Hence, most of the young people ended up being employed in marginal jobs like petty commodity trade, barmaids, commercial sex workers, street food vendors, commuter bus conductors, which are paying better compared to rural earnings hence improving their livelihoods. The study also showed that due to limited opportunity of wage employment in Mbeya city such the decay of industries and few formal employments, most of the youths were employed in informal sector. Moreover, the finding revealed that the movement of young people from rural to urban areas was slightly changing the livelihoods of the youth due to availability of business opportunities and other income generating activities in Mbeya city. This study concluded that the rural poverty was major driving force towards rural-urban migration among the youth in Mbeya city. Finally, the study recommends that effective rural development strategies, poverty alleviation, and provision of necessary physical and social infrastructure can become an effective tool of minimising young people moving away from rural areas.