Elieth Eyebiyi

Elieth Eyebiyi
Résidents Labex RFIEA+
pas Eurias
Résidents Programme FIAS

dates de séjour

01/09/2021 - 30/06/2022


Anthropologie et ethnologie
Études urbaines et architecturales

Fonction d’origine


Institution d’origine


pays d'origine


projet de recherche

The economies of informality: fuel smuggling, risks and urbanity in West Africa

This research project questions the urban production of informality in West Africa. Existing scientific and policy discourses tend to reduce informality to the informal sector, to the sphere of capitalist labour and often adopts a legal-legal vision. The project aims to challenge this frame of analysis. Thus, he shows how informality, on the one hand, transcends the economic perspective of the informal sector, reinstates social relations in local economic functioning and influences national scales. On the other hand, it includes the marginalized and actors without social protection in the economic fabric at urban spaces. Following marginalized people involved in fuel smuggling, he investigates the social relations, risks management in uncertainty context, the daily life of informality’s production from margins and how it influences the formal economy in new urban spaces.

Based on long term empirical fieldworks, this interdisciplinary work deconstructs the normative aspects of informality by voicing poor and stakeholders embedded in the resourcefulness business, legally prohibited but socially tolerated. He reintegrates the urbanity aspects in this analysis in order to understand deeply the new socio spatial dynamics occurring around inequality, and risk management around fuel smuggling in the economies of borderlands urban cities in West Africa.


Dr Elieth Eyebiyi is a researcher at DHI CREPOS Senegal and LASDEL Benin/Niger. He holds a first PhD in Sociology Anthropology (Benin, 2012) and a second PhD in Urban Studies (Canada, 2017) and teaches various courses including Migration and Development. He held scholarships in institutions such as IAS Princeton (USA), Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France). He has authored outstanding publications and peer-reviewed articles in French, English and German and delivered communications within four continents. He has received several distinctions including the Prix du Rayonnement international (Canada) and the Edinburgh Catalyst Fellowship from The University of Edinburgh (UK). His current work examines the bureaucratization of informality in West African borderlands.