In our focus on international migrant destinations and education we have explored some sobering and soul-searching information which has stressed the urgency for a range of effective solutions that provide best quality educational and social life chances and opportunities for our current and future generations.
Today we turn our attention to the dynamics of migrant flow within Africa itself and some of the migration patterns that have been identified by international researchers both within Africa and beyond.
The Network of Migration Research On Africa (NOMRA) “is a collaborative organisation of researchers and scholars interested and working on migration”. Registered in 2010 with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria, it’s overall aim is to “build a regional migration research network and research capacity to carry out cross-national, multidisciplinary and innovative research on socio-cultural, economic and political aspects of international migration in the region in order to advance knowledge on migration dynamics and policymaking in the region.” it also aims to establish “Sub-regional Focal Points: Five sub-regional focal points will be established in Western, Eastern, Central, Northern and Southern Africa”.
According to a report written by Professor Aderanti Adepoju in 2016, migration in Africa is principally intra-regional, with South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Libya being major poles of attraction for migrants. West Africa is highlighted as the place where most movements take place between neighbouring countries and is also well known as a sub-region of intensive migration, refugees and population displacements.
A 2016 International Monetary Fund Report compiled by the Spillover Task Force proposed that “While refugees and other displaced persons make the headlines, for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) there are in fact far more important longer-term migration trends, within and outside the region, that have a significant macroeconomic impact and entail considerable spillover effects”. It also recorded that according to the then 2013 most recent bilateral migration data, about 20 million sub-Saharan Africans were living outside of their own country, with approximately 13 million having migrated within Sub-Saharan Africa. Their research also concluded that “SSA migration is mostly an intraregional phenomenon. The recipients of intra-SSA migration flows are countries with relatively larger and more diversified economies. Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Nigeria were the top three countries with the largest stocks of migrants in 2013, respectively hosting about 2.3, 2, and 0.9 million people from other SSA countries being reflected in the main migration corridors: the largest one running from Burkina Faso to Côte d’Ivoire, followed by the corridors from Zimbabwe to South Africa and from Mali to Côte d’Ivoire”.
Could it be that the harnessing of the skills and potentials of these people nurtured within a strong unified socio-economic and educational framework, coupled with the abilities that are flowing into the region through emigration are the key to unlocking the vast economic and social wealth of Africa?
Lesley Shepperson is Managing Director at Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd. United Kingdom