What are the main reasons behind africans growing outward migration

Published 14 Mar 2017

African migration since time immemorial has been that of intracontinental that entails movement of people to the neighboring countries or movement within the region. The main factor that caused migration of Africans from their country of origin to the neighboring countries is said to be the conflict that exist in their respective countries, August, M and Rudwick (1986:24-30).Countries like Somalia, Sudan, Somalia, Angola and many more others are characterized by internal conflicts. To avoid being killed people are forced to migrate to countries that can offer them refuge. This has resulted to mushrooming of so many refugee camps that cater for the displaced people in the neighboring countries. Refugee camps are managed by the United Nation organ known as UNHCR (United Nation High Commission for Refugees) which fund for the shelter and food for the displaced people. These conflicts are normally caused by political corruption, violation of human rights, lack of respect for the rule of law and legacy of the European colonialism, Spellman (2008:100-105).

African countries are led my leaders driven by greed attitude. They tend to impose themselves as life presidents and in the process they loot public coffers. The people retaliate back by uprisings hence ending up blowing things out of proportion resulting to war. This makes people to run for their safety in the neighboring countries. Apart from conflict, another factor that triggered African people to migrate to other African countries is the economic reason. People were forced to move to other neighboring countries to seek employment. A country facing economic down turn forced her people to move so as get jobs in economically stable countries. To illustrate this, people moved from neighboring countries to go and work in farms, mining areas in South Africa so as to earn income. There was also this issue of demography that led people to migrate. Some African countries’ population was growing at a faster rate thus putting a lot of pressure on the available land resource prompting people to move to other regions to secure land Spellman (2008:100-105).

Intercontinental migration of Africans can be explained by the accelerated globalization. The increase in the role of global capital did not improve the matters pertaining to average incomes but instead led to decrease in income for many people both in absolute and relative terms with respect to the rest of the world. The structural adjustment programs carried out by both the World Bank and the IMF did not bring about the expected stimulus in trade and industry sectors. Instead it resulted to the reduction of the middle class employment in the health, education and administrative sectors. Theses factors prompted people to migrate to Europe and Middle East hence coupled with cheap transport and communication that facilitated their movement, Castles & Miller (1993:156-157).The intercontinental migration of Africans involved poorly educated labor migrants and irregular migration. However most of the African people migrating to the developed countries are highly educated and the issue of utmost importance in African development is the brain drain. According to statistics taken in USA, African immigrants possess the highest average level of education among the immigrant groups in the America, Castles, & Miller (1993:156-157).

The African people entering the developed economies are attracted by non other than the good life as portrayed by the international media which does promise success basing on the individual merits. This is because their countries are characterized by patronage and corruptions hence they don’t offer any good promise in the near future as in their host country, Rose (1987:24-26).


  • August, M and Rudwick, E. Black History. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.
  • Rose, W. Slavery and Migration. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
  • Irwin, G. Africans Abroad: a Documentary History of the Black Diaspora in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean during the Age of Slavery. New York: Columbia University Press, 1977.
  • Spellman, W. Uncertain Identity: International Migration since 1945.Chicago: Chicago University Press Castles, 2008.
  • Castles, S. & Miller, M. J. The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. New York: The Guilford Press, 1993.
  • Hatton T and Jeffrey G. The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Impact. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
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