African migration includes both migration between different African countries and migration to other continents. Africa does not have a single migration configuration but a whole range of types at once. It is a region of diverse migration circuits: between origin, destination and transit countries for labour migrants, for flows of undocumented migrants and refugees, as well as for brain drain and brain circulation of professionals. This study examines migration patterns and migration policy developments in the continent. The central questions asked are: 1) What are the main migration patterns within Africa? 2) What are the main drivers of migration? 3) What should be done to manage African migration?

Some overall conclusions and recommendations

  • These migrations take place predominantly within the African continent. 
  • The traditional pattern of migration within Africa – male-dominated, long-term and autonomous – is changing and becoming significantly more feminised.
  • Migration in Africa is driven by the often interrelated push factors of poverty, mismanaged economies, unemployment, unstable politics, insecurity and violent conflicts, rapidly growing populations as well as environmental deterioration.
  • What has increased migration in recent times is also access to information, as well as faster and often cheaper modes of travel.
  • An important part of dealing with African migration is aid, which addresses the reasons for migration.

About the author

The research overview, Migration within and from Africa (2016:5), is written by Professor Aderanti Adepoju, leading African migration researcher.

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