The Jua Kali Connection - Young Professionals Straddling Nairobi's Informal Networks

Simon Teglskov Nielsen

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This thesis tracks trends within the rise of university enrolment in Kenya and graduate self-employment and addresses the mismatch between educated youths labelled as unemployed and their actual informal economic activities. From the scholarly debate on informality, the informal/formal divide is adapted to disclose the changing Kenyan informal institutions in the 21st century. Balancing the structure-actor at the meso-level, informality is operationalised into an institutional analysis of local business systems and industry sub-sectors from the graduate agency perspective. In the search of capital, contacts and entrepreneurial skills, graduates straddle social networks and formal associations in Nairobi. The object of analysis is Nairobi’s informal Jua Kali sector, and the garment production in the Kamukunji manufacturing cluster. In production, trade and service rendering graduate interconnectors bridge formal opportunities with the informal production process of manufactured goods.

UddannelserInternationale Udviklingsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato29 feb. 2012
VejledereEbbe Prag


  • informal economy
  • tertiary education
  • informal sector
  • Kamukunji
  • Nairobi
  • institutional analysis
  • graduate self-employment
  • informality
  • Kenya
  • jua kali
  • formal/informal divide
  • East Africa