The Transforming Power of Urbanization: Changes and Uncertainties among the Farming Community in Laga Xafo-Laga Dadhi Town, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This dissertation deals with the transforming power of urbanization and its contemporaneous challenges and uncertainties among a farming community that has recently been included in a newly established urban center in Ethiopia. Selected informants from the farming community, government line departments, and some concerned individuals in the private development projects were consulted to generate the qualitative data through focus group discussions, in-depth interview, and observations. In addition, a survey was carried out to fetch some relevant quantitative data to support the qualitative data. For this purpose, 178 households filled in a questionnaire consisting of 36 questions with both close and open-ended questions. There are several findings observed in this study. It has been found out that, pertaining to Ethiopian land policy and how a single change, change in land ownership, has affected the livelihood of many the farmers who have been living on farming for several generations. This dissertation contends that land dispossession has been perpetuating in all the regimes since the coming of the non-Oromo groups to the present location of Addis Ababa and its surrounding. At the same time, it is found out that the number of actors who play legal and visible roles and illegal and invisible roles in land market is increasing. It is also found out that urbanization has transformed the use of land as well as the living conditions of individuals. The study has shown that the change in land ownership has resulted in the emergence of two competing perceptions for land resource (land as a source of life and land as a source of money) together with subsequent resistances and struggle between the old and the new comers. In addition, the cultural meaning that the farming community attaches to the urban development processes and to the government agents is skeptical. The farmers’ adaptive strategies to the opportunities and challenges of the new urban context are found to be individual-oriented and not supported by a well established system of government. Based on the opinions of the informants, there are some sounding alternatives suggested to help the community better adapt to the new opportunities and challenges in the urbanization process



Social Anthropology