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Economic Development in Africa: Migration for Structural Transformation

  • International migration in Africa: An overview

In the last 27 years, international migration in Africa has grown rapidly. In 2017, there were about 41 million international migrants from, to, or within Africa. Of these, 19 million resided in Africa, 17 million were resident outside of the continent, and 5.5 million were immigrants from the rest of the world.

Migration in Africa has been characterized by outflows primarily to other countries on the continent, and to some extent to extra-continental destinations. Out-migration is a dominant pattern of international movements in Africa as countries that are net senders exceed net receivers.

Sending countries in 2017

Map showing net sending countries in Africa37 countries in Africa were net migrant-sending countries in 2017. While outflows from these countries were primarily to intra-African destinations, for the top net-sending countries, outflows were to extra-continental destinations.

Egypt (2.9 million), Morocco (2.8 million), Algeria (1.5 million) and Tunisia (700,000) were among the top net sending countries. Other net sending countries in 2017 included Somalia (1.9 million), Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Mali (in descending order).

With economic migration being a key feature of international migration in Africa, the search for economic opportunities is an important driver of mobility in the majority of net sending countries. While distress-push factors, notably, high youth unemployment influence movements from Northern Africa to Europe and the Middle East, demand-pull factors, in particular, employment, trade and investment opportunities in neighbouring economies drive mobility, for instance, from Burkina Faso to Côte d’Ivoire and from Mozambique to South Africa.

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Political instability in Somalia, and conflict in the Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic are important drivers of emigration from these countries on the continent. Climate change and the growing competition for natural resources are also driving migration within the Sahel region, with the distress-push factors influencing movements from Mali and Niger.

Receiving countries in 2017

Map showing net receiving countries in AfricaIn 2017, 17 countries in Africa were key net migrant-receivers. South Africa (3.1 million), Côte d’Ivoire (1.2 million), Uganda (900,000), Libya (629,000), Kenya (577,000), Ethiopia (426,000), Chad (242,000), Gabon (213,000), Cameroon (206,000) and Tanzania (168,000) were the top net receiving countries.

Demand for labour in key economic sectors has been a driver of migration to South Africa (domestic service, mining and construction) and Côte d’Ivoire (agriculture), both of which are hubs on the continent. Similarly, demand for labour in Gabon’s lumber and mining sectors, oil in Equatorial Guinea and in diversified economies such as Kenya, has influenced movements primarily from neighbouring countries to these economies.

Conflict has been a driver of migration to Uganda and Kenya, both of which host a large number of refugees from South Sudan, and to Chad, which hosts refugees primarily from the Sahel region. Cameroon hosts refugees from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania hosts refugees from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Libya – a top net receiving country, and Mauritania are transit countries that receive migrants en route to Europe primarily from West Africa, and from Eastern Africa.

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Trends in international migration in Africa

Since 2000, international migration in Africa has increased significantly, rising by 67% from 15 million in 2000 to 25 million in 2017 (annual average growth of 2.8 per cent per year). In addition, international migrants as a share of total population in Africa increased from 1.8 per cent in 2000 to 2 per cent in 2017.

  1. In 2017, out of 100 immigrants[1] in Africa, 79 were from Africa.Figure 1
  1. International migration in Africa occurs primarily in the same African region. In 2017, 4 out of 5 international migrants residing in Eastern, Middle and Western Africa were from the same African region, underscoring intra-regional migration’s importance. However, since 1990, intra-regional migration has declined across all African regions.Figure 2
  • Among Africa’s migrants of working age, the proportion aged 25-64 years rose from 49% in 1990 to 57% in 2017. Conversely, the share of young migrants, aged 15-24 years declined from 21 % to 16% during the same period.Figure 3
  1. Female migration is growing in importance in Africa. Since 1990, the number of international female migrants increased from 7.4 million to 11.6 million in 2017. This trend is reflected in the corresponding increase in Africa’s female population, which rose from 318 million in 1990 to 629 million in 2017.Figure 4
  1. At the regional level, trends in female migration vary markedly. International female migrants as a share of the total female population doubled in Southern Africa from 2.5 per cent in 1990 to 5.8 per cent 2017, and rose slightly in Middle Africa. In Northern and Eastern Africa, and to a lesser extent, in Western Africa, international female migration declined during the same period.Figure 5
  1. Africa’s population is projected to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050. By then, the continent will have the largest population growth of any global geographical region. In 2050, 25 per cent of the world’s working age population will live in Africa, up from 8 per cent in 1950. Given these demographic projections, the continent will need to generate 55,000 jobs a day according some estimates, in order to absorb the additional labour.Figure 6
READ  UNODC Executive Director launches strategic vision for Africa 2030

Source: unctad.org

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Edo goes after assets, properties of traffickers

 

The Edo State Government plans to go after the assets and properties of persons behind the wanton trafficking of indigenes of the state.

Governor Godwin Obaseki told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that proceeds from such properties would be ploughed into the rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees.

Convicting the perpetrators and liquidating their assets, according to the governor, will serve as a deterrent to others who are still scouting for vulnerable Nigerians to traffic.

The governor, who was among guests at an event held at the British High Commission in Abuja on Thursday, however, said that the state had been hindered by delays in prosecution.

He said whereas government had recruited competent prosecutors, judicial processes, long adjournments and handling of victims’ testimonies were delaying government’s move to get convictions.

He said: “We have been able to intensify investigation and prosecution. But unfortunately, we have not been able to get any conviction.

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“Not because the prosecutors are not doing their utmost best, but because of the very nature of our legal system.

“We are working very hard with the high courts and NAPTIP to ensure that we get convictions.

“This can serve as a deterrent and punishment to the perpetrators, ensuring that they lose property and they lose assets with which we will now use in supporting the rehabilitation of victims.

“We will work with the judiciary to try and reduce the long adjournments and also the way they treat evidences from victims.

“Many of these victims are afraid of revealing information on their traffickers because of threats, but we are taking measures to provide safe houses for them and to provide cover for them until we are able to get prosecutions.”

The governor said that in the last four years under his watch, the number of persons trafficked from the state had reduced with rehabilitation and reintegration of over 6,500 returnees.

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He said that the focus for the government, working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), is to re-humanise the victims and restore their dignity.

He added that the government also, in the process of rehabilitation, extracts information from the victims in a bid to understand the scope and nature of the network.

“We have rehabilitated over 6,500 victims of trafficking and irregular migration working with partners like the IOM.

“We have also used the opportunity to extract a lot of data to understand the nature and scope of all these trafficking network and crisis.

“With that information, we now understand what drives people and what have driven people to be trafficked, the areas they come from, their social situation and economic situations.

“That has helped us to put strategies in place to combat trafficking in Edo state.

“You would see from records available that the incidence of trafficking and irregular migration in Edo state over the last three years has dropped dramatically,” he said.

READ  African migration: what the numbers really tell us 

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JIFORM to African leaders: give youths social security to combat human trafficking

Ajibola JIFORM President

JIFORM President Ajibola

As the world marks the 2021 Day Against Trafficking In Persons on July 30, the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) has urged government in Africa to pay more attention to the social security schemes to stem the tide of human trafficking on the continent.

The global media body with over 300 journalists covering migration across the continents is hosting its 3rd global migration summit in partnership with the Altec Global Inc, Toronto Canada and others at the Niagara Falls in the country between November 29 to December 6, this year.

The President of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi in a statement noted that “the major pull factor of human trafficking in Africa is poverty. The youths being trafficked need jobs, shelter, security and empowerment. Before we can ensure that the victims’ voices lead the way as the theme of the 2021 anti-human trafficking day implies, every government on the continent must not pretend on the relevance of improved socio- economic status for their citizens. Time to do needful is now by being honest and set aside undue semantics and theories.

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“We salute the doggedness of the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) in Nigeria. The law establishing the agency should be reviewed to mandate the leadership of the agency to be totally professional and hierarchically structured as uniformed organization.

“NAPTIP needs more funding to recruit more hands and have its presence in the 774 local governments in Nigeria. The agency should be more strategically involved in the migration process of mostly young Nigerian ladies to be sure of their mission at the airports through collaboration with the Nigeria Immigration Service.

“Youth empowerment is very key to any preventive measure. Poverty, economic hardship and ignorance are the major weapons being used by the traffickers to sway victims in Africa especially Nigeria.

“Therefore, for the theme of this year’s anti-human trafficking day to be meaningful in Nigeria and Africa, JIFORM agrees totally that listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking are very important. Survivors are key actors in the fight against human trafficking.

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“But how well have we re-integrate many of them into the society? The victims play a crucial role in establishing effective measures to prevent this crime, identifying and rescuing victims and supporting them on their road to rehabilitation.

“We cannot agree less with the United Nations that many victims of human trafficking have experienced ignorance or misunderstanding in their attempts to get help. They have had traumatic post-rescue experiences during identification interviews and legal proceedings. Some have faced revictimization and punishment for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. Others have been subjected to stigmatization or received inadequate support. So, we must rise to implement the preventive measures and defend the victims.

“Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim-centered and effective approach in combating human trafficking. The media too must play its roles to carry out more campaigns to complement what is expected from the government” Ajibola added.

READ  African migration: what the numbers really tell us 

 

 

 

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IOM rushes to help refugees as deadly monsoon rains wreak havoc in Bangladesh

 

IOM, Rohingya volunteers and partners are working relentlessly to assist those affected by this week’s heavy rains in Bangladesh. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al

Cox’s Bazar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today many of the more than 13,000 Rohingya refugees forced out of their camps by flooding in Cox’s Bazar which has killed at least six people were returning to their shelters to salvage belongings after a break in heavy rains, but the risk of more casualties remained high.

IOM said a total of more than 21,000 refugees had been affected and almost 4,000 shelters were destroyed. Food distribution centres, health facilities and water points have been damaged during three days of non-stop rain.

The six confirmed dead were killed in landslides or drowned in two IOM-managed camps and officials fear more flooding and landslides will prevent help reaching others among the total of 884,000 Rohingya refugees in the country.

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Access to the camps is hazardous as constant landslides block the main roads leading to the camps, and major routes used by refugees and humanitarian actors are under water.

Up to 2,000 people have been evacuated from landslide-prone areas in Teknaf upazila (sub-district).

“Heavy rainfall is expected during the next few days, and as such, challenges are likely to increase,” said Manuel Marques Pereira, IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangladesh.

“Over the past few months, IOM has been assessing the risk of landslides, strengthening drainage networks, installing slope protection measures and upgrading key pathways. However, despite multiple disaster risk reduction measures being implemented, the camp congestion, excessive rain and poor soil quality, make it extremely difficult to cope with the elements,” Pereira said.

One hundred Rohingya Disaster Management Unit (DMU) volunteers trained in each camp have been working around the clock and focusing on helping the most vulnerable, including the elderly and pregnant women. IOM teams are assessing the damage and working closely with the different sectors to refer those affected for relevant assistance. Mobile medical teams have been deployed and the protection emergency response unit has been activated.

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Staff on the ground are clearing drainage pipes, repairing damage and distributing emergency shelter kits, core relief items, and aquatabs to prevent waterborne diseases.

IOM has sent in Cyclone Preparedness Programme volunteers to urgently assist host community members.

Families have taken refuge in six different multi-purpose cyclone shelters where they are currently being assisted with relief items, protection and medical support. Since 2019, IOM has been supporting the rehabilitation of MPCS so community members can take shelter in case of disasters.

The current flood emergency further exacerbates the massive humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. After almost four years since the latest influx of Rohingya refugees who arrived in Bangladesh from neighbouring Myanmar, IOM is relying on its partners to continue to support the response.

Additional support is needed to enable teams to continue to assist those affected, as well as the rest of the refugees currently residing in the camps. As always, IOM advocates for the continuation of a comprehensive humanitarian assistance for refugees across all camps.

READ  Beware, traffickers recruiting people online, TMP warns

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