Disenchanted but Optimistic: The Living Conditions of the Urban Youth in Kagera Region, Tanzania

Lucius R. Mugisha, Huruma L. Sigalla


In this paper, we discuss the living conditions of the urban youth who have acquired non-agricultural skills, and are employed or self-employed in Tanzania. Using the case of Kagera Region, we collected qualitative data from the youth and community leaders to get to know about the lives of the urban youth. We show that the urban youth live under precarious conditions of low-quality houses, limited access to services like safe water and electricity, and inability to buy culturally valued food (bananas) among others. These conditions have become biopolitical because the urban youth think they are themselves to blame because they have almost no view of the forces beyond themselves, which might be shaping their conditions. It is concluded that to understand the living conditions of the urban youth, it is imperative to understand the biopolitical processes of both neo-liberalized accumulation in rural areas and the acquisition of non-agricultural skills for both employment and self-employment.

Key words: Living conditions, Biopolitics, Youth, Kagera Region

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