Author(s): Findley S, Traore S, Ouedraogo D, Diarra S
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Abstract PIP: This report on international migration from the Sahel (the band of countries which lies just south of the Sahara and extends to the Atlantic) opens with a historical overview of the region which includes a description of the response of its people to periodic droughts (including gradual migration to the south), a look at commercial expansion which led to the growth of urban centers, and the destabilizing effects of Atlantic trade and subsequent colonization. The report continues by examining 1) the ethnic and political factors which influenced migration, 2) emigration trends from the region, 3) economic factors, and 4) the effect of the agricultural system on male migration. It is noted that the agricultural sector is unlikely to meet the region's needs for food or cash and that the mining sector can generate cash but not food or sufficient jobs. Industrial growth has been limited, and only the public sector has shown consistent growth. After examining the macro-economic context formed by foreign aid and foreign debt, the current international migration situation is described. The recent phenomenon of female migrants is analyzed as a response to economic crisis. A case study is then presented of emigration from Mali with an emphasis on emigration from the Senegal River Valley which has been plagued by drought. Finally, it is projected that migration trends will continue as long as the propelling economic, environmental, and political crises continue. A need exists for programs to help migrants channel their funds for their return. In addition, collaborative development projects should incorporate the emigration process by 1) strengthening the financial contribution of emigrants, 2) incorporating return migrants, and 3) strengthening the underlying economic insecurity which exacerbates migration.
This article was published in Int Migr
and referenced in International Journal of Economics & Management Sciences