Economic Dynamics

The new Madaraka Express line between Nairobi and Mombasa, Nairobi National Park, 2019

Workers, Labour, and Employment

This research area targets studies on workers in industries, factories and on plantations in East Africa, focusing on working conditions, workers relations (considering their gendered dimension), workers/employers relations, organized protest or consent, the growth of a working class culture, etc. Currently, research focuses on tea plantations and trade in Kenya.

Read more about the “Working Africa” program here.

In May 2021, a three-day conference will be held in Addis Abeba as a partnership between CFEE and IFRA-Nairobi which will include an exhibit of pictures and videos about work in East Africa.

Integration of rural-urban relations in globalisation

Rural-urban relations are invested by the logic of networks in the context of accelerated urbanization. Taking this into account make it possible to consider on the rural and urban worlds in a relational perspective, and to look at their relations at other scales, in particular globalization. Looking at the merchant networks, those of the products that leave the countryside to the cities, and those of the products that arrive in the countryside from the cities, sheds light on the connections and local reorganisations integrated at other scales. Rural areas are understood as areas of production and consumption where agriculture is combined to other economic activities. On the other hand, the city is examined in relation to its agricultural hinterland and metropolisation in order to highlight complementarities and the social and political aspects of the interplay between actors who combine territorial differences.

Themes studied include:

• Rural-Urban Relations
• Market Networks
• Agriculture and markets
• Food systems
• Informal economy
• Value chains


1. Racaud S., 2023, Montagnes, routes et marchés en Tanzanie. Géographie des circulations dans les Uporoto, Comité des Travaux Historiques et Scientifiques – École nationale des chartes, Aubervilliers.
2. Bouhali A., Doron A., Racaud S., 2023, « Circulations marchandes et mondialisation des pauvres : transformations sociales et spatiales vues des Suds », Suds, 287 : 5-20.
3. Racaud S., 2022, “Low-cost Chinese goods in Tanzania: The rise of transnational trade routes’ peripheral branches”, Critical African Studies, 15-1.
4. Racaud S., Bart F., Tullet J.-C., Uwizeyimana L. (éds), 2021, Trajectoires de ruralités intertropicales en Afrique et ailleurs. Hommage à Bernard Charlery de la Masselière, Presses Universitaires du Midi, Toulouse.
5. Racaud S., 2021, “Low-Cost Business in Kenya from the City to the Countryside”, in Fouéré M.-A., Pommerolle M.-E., Thibon C. (éds). Kenya in motion 2000-2020, Paris & Nairobi : Africae, Coll. « Africae Studies », 175-197.
6. Racaud S. (éd.), 2018, “Street Vending Facing Urban Policies. Who owns the streets? Uses, appropriation and mobilization for (commercial) streets”, Articulo – Journal of Urban Research, thematic issue, 17-18.
7. Racaud S., 2018, “Ambiguous Resource: ‘Informal’ Street Trading in Kisumu, Kenya”, Articulo – Journal of Urban Research, 17-18.

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