UN Report Finds Intra Africa Migration & Beyond a Boon Not a Curse

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The large-scale migration of people within Africa tends to boost growth and lifts the continent’s whole economy, a new United Nations report has said, urging the world to dispel misconceptions and “harmful narratives” targeting migration

Migration benefits both origin and destination countries across Africa. The report argues that African migration can play a key role in the structural transformation of the continent’s economies. Well-managed migration also provides an important means for helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, both in Africa and beyond

These migrants not only fill skills gaps in destination countries, but also contribute to development in their origin countries. Children remaining in the origin country of a migrant parent are also often more educated than their peers, thanks to their parent’s migration. The connections that migrants create between their origin and their destination countries have led to thriving diaspora communities. They have also opened up new trade and investment opportunities that can help both destination countries and origin countries to diversify their economies and move into productive activities of greater added value.

Contrary to some perceptions, most migration in Africa today is taking place within the continent. This report argues that this intra-African migration is an essential ingredient for deeper regional and continental integration. At the same time, the broad patterns of extra-continental migration out of Africa confirm the positive contribution of migrants to the structural transformation of origin countries.

We believe this report offers new and innovative analytical perspectives, relevant for both long-term policy making and for the design of demand-driven technical cooperation projects, with a shorter time frame and will help Governments and other stakeholders in reaching informed decisions on appropriate migration policies in the context of Africa’s regional integration process.

Migration and structural transformation: The global environment, the policy agenda and conceptual and data issues
Patterns and trends of migration
Contemporary labor migration
Intra-African migration and structural transformation
Migration and structural transformation: The long-term view
Recommendations and conclusions
EDAR-Facts and Figures: UNCTAD Economic Development in Africa Report 2018