Development Projects and the Economic Displacement of Urban Micro-Enterprises in Nairobi City, Kenya

Antony Kamakia, Shi Guoqing, Mohammad Zaman


The 21st century has been much associated with globalization and infrastructure booms. These factors have led to accelerated urban renewal projects, tailored to accommodate urban growth in many Countries. For Kenya, numerous urban renewal projects are in the pipeline, under the auspices of blueprints such as the Nairobi Urban Transport Master Plan (2014-2030). Recently, Kenya has also upgraded its land acquisition and displacement framework to manage development projects with enormous land acquisition, among other reasons. The framework apportions different entitlements to both formal and informal PAPs displaced by development projects. The question, however, is the effectiveness of the framework, as concerns economic displacement of vulnerable informal micro-enterprises. This paper is a culmination of research undertaken on the displaced informal micro-enterprises during the expansion of outer ring road in Nairobi, Kenya. A sample of 210 of the 615 displaced micro-enterprises was selected using systematic random sampling. Both quantitative and qualitative research techniques are utilized. Results indicate that even though the project had adequate income and livelihood restoration components, they were non-prioritized hence negative impacts and outcomes to the dislocated micro-enterprises. The major recommendation is that Kenya should adopt resettlement with development where resettlement is carried out as a separate development project lasting more than ten years. Also, the micro-enterprise and DIDR frameworks can be strategically linked to deliver synergetic outputs. The international finance Institutions such as World Bank can also assist in the highlighted aspects, during this period when they are fortifying Country systems for DIDR across the World.

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