Surviving in a Conflict Environment: Market Women and Changing Socioeconomic Relations in Jos, Nigeria - 2001–2010


Dr. Lohna Bonkat

Research Area:


Jos, the capital of Plateau state, Nigeria is a cosmopolitan city with residents drawn from different parts of the country. As a major centre of tin mining activity during British colonial rule, Jos attracted a flow of labour migrants from other parts of Nigeria. As the city continued to grow in the decades following its independence in 1960, tensions developed between autochthonous groups referred in the literature as “indigenes” and some of the migrant groups also generally represented in the literature as “settlers”. These tensions were to culminate in violent conflict, with a severe case of collective violence erupting in September 2001, and recurrent episodes in 2004, 2008, 2010 and still ongoing. This research attempts to study insecurity and socio-economic uncertainty created by incessant episodes of violent conflict in Jos, Central Nigeria. The focus will be on examining the impacts of violence on livelihoods and households of small-scale women entrepreneurs and the coping strategies employed by these women; the broader social environment and inter-group relations. The research will also explore changing patterns of intergroup relations within these commercial networks. The patterns identified here will help uncover the nature of relations in the past, how they have changed and the risk these women face as they go about their daily lives.