Connect with us

African Migration

Africa is often seen as a continent of mass displacement and migration caused by poverty and violent conflict. Influenced by media images of massive refugee flows and ‘boat migration’, and alarmist rhetoric of politicians suggesting an impending immigrant invasion, the portrayal of Africa as a ‘continent on the move’ is linked to stereotypical ideas of Africa as a continent of poverty and conflict. In recent years, irregular migration from Africa to Europe has received extensive attention. Sensationalist media reportage and popular discourses give rise to an image of an ‘exodus’ of desperate Africans fleeing poverty at home in search of the European ‘El Dorado’. Millions of Africans are believed to be waiting to cross to Europe at the first opportunity. Yet, African migration remains overwhelmingly intra-continental. Contradicting conventional interpretations of African migration being essentially driven by poverty, violence and underdevelopment, increasing migration out of Africa seems rather to be driven by processes of development and social transformation which have increased Africans’ capabilities and aspirations to migrate, a trend which is likely to continue in the future.