Challenges faced by refugee small-scale traders in Kenya: the case of Somali refugee traders in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
Mohamed, Habiba Ali
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The main aim of the study was to investigate the challenges faced by small-scale traders among Somali refugees in Eastleigh -Nairobi Kenya. The study aimed at to examining whether Somali Refugees small-scale traders face corruption as a challenge, examine whether Somali Refugees small-scale traders are affected by lack of credit and financing in their business, examine whether Somali Refugees small-scale traders face discrimination when doing business and examine whether small-scale traders refugees in Eastleigh fear that they might be deported. The study sought to answer research questions developed from the objectives. Thus, this research attempted an in-depth explanation of how these migrants achieve their livelihoods. The study will adopt a conceptual framework developed by the researcher after reviewing relevant and related literature from various sources. Descriptive design was employed and data was collected from both secondary sources as well as primary sources. The study targeted all the Somali refugees doing small-scale businesses in Eastleigh section in Nairobi and sampling was conducted using purposive sampling to identify 225 specific respondents to the study. Questionnaires were used though shall be guided as many of the respondents would have language challenges. A research assistant was used to help in data collection. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics while inferential statistics was used to draw conclusions from the collected data and presented using pie charts, bar graphs, frequency tables and percentages. Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) was used to aid in data analysis. Ethical standards were observed throughout the study so as to realize and achieve suitable results. The study found that most Somali small scale refugee traders are indeed economically poor. The asylum and immigration system remains conducive to the reception of small scale refugee traders. Small scale traders in Eastleigh face challenges of accessing to finance. Small scale trade helps Somali small scale traders acquire finances for their day to day financial requirements and there is exclusion of Somali small scale traders from the government funding when promoting small scale trade in Kenya. Corruption in Kenya and especially in Nairobi has a significant impact on refugee businesses'. Ethos of corruption and bribery prevailed throughout the commercial sector. Organizations that deal primarily with business dominate the rankings of bribe size in Kenya. Findings show that refugees live illegally in Nairobi and are largely not entitled to protection or assistance and therefore they fear that they might be departed at any time. There are no clearly demarcated boundaries signifying a singular refugee community in Nairobi and those refugees who have been able to establish businesses and survive in Eastleigh are unlikely to pick up and leave in the near future. The study recommended that policy and legal framework needs to be put in place for the regulation and management of refugees in Kenya. To accomplish this, agencies and organizations dealing with refugee and human rights matters in Kenya need to network and lobby government authorities and others to take necessary measures to ensure that they do not turn a blind eye on refugee issues in Kenya.