African migrations: Changing the narrative

The global view of African migrations urgently needs to be reset since distorted data leads to inadequate policies

Project or report lab
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
18:45 to 20:00

African migrations present an opportunity for both the continent and the world, and yet today this topic triggers an emotional reaction and is generally misunderstood, despite being a key dynamic that has always been part of human history.

Contrary to perceptions, African migrations are driven by the need for jobs and economic opportunity, and most African migrations begin and end on the continent. The number of African migrants are comparatively fewer than often portrayed, totalling only 14% of the global migrant population in 2017 (significantly less than Asia, 41% and Europe, 24%). Moreover, their arrival in host countries is generally welcomed, with many Africans saying they would like more migrants in their country.

Mo Ibrahim, Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “Migration in Africa, and around the world, is largely about aspiration, not desperation. Africans leaving their home countries are looking for the chance to work and contribute to their host countries. Afri

Organised by


Camilla Rocca
Head of Research
Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Yvonne Apea Mensah
Adviser and Head of Africa, Governance and Peace Directorate
The Commonwealth Secretariat
Natasha Kimani
Mo Ibrahim Foundation
Judicaelle Irakoze
Young Leader - Burundi
Jason Gagnon
Development economist
OECD Development Centre