Living on the edge: Rural-urban migrants in Kigali, Rwanda
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The debate on the rural-urban linkage has been dominated by a rural perspective for a long time. Livelihood diversification was seen as an activity for rural households. Nowadays more and more attention is given to the urban side of the linkage and urban livelihoods in special. This research is about households of rural-urban migrants in Kigali, Rwanda. Main issue is the relationship of these migrant households with the rural households they left and this research includes their migration trajectory, a livelihood analysis and an overview of their ties with the rural areas in terms of remittances and visits. This study uses mixed methods – quantitative and qualitative data – in order to elaborate on the topic. This study argues that rural-urban migrants are not a homogeneous group, as three livelihood profiles are compiled. The migrants’ current livelihood influences the strength of their relation with the rural home in terms of remittances and visits. Among all households, the livelihood that seems most sustainable in case of shocks and stresses is the ‘naturally rich’ livelihood; living on the edge of Kigali seems beneficial.