In Summary
  • People largely prefer to settle close to home because going farther out would be strenuous.
  • The reasons for migration remain the same as they were before: poverty and political strife, among others.

Most African migrants do not leave the continent but end up settling in other countries, with Kenya remaining a firm favourite for those looking for a new home.

In addition, Africa contributes a smaller percentage of migrants than the rest of the world.

A new report released by Italian Institute for International Political Studies shows that far from the perceptions that Africa continues to pour the bulk of migrants to the West, the images of Africans arriving in Europe in rickety boats do not tell even half the story of migration in Africa.

"In spite of an overall acceleration of Africans’ extra-continental migration and of a growing diversification of their destinations, a large majority of sub-Saharan migrants do not actually leave Africa.

"Most of them typically travel only short distances and as many as two-thirds settle in other countries in the wider region," the report says.

People largely prefer to settle close to home because going farther out would be strenuous.

This therefore debunks the other myth that the African migrants who make it into Europe are the poorest and most destitute of the bunch.

On the contrary, the ones who end up in Europe are often of a higher socio-economic status and have the skills to make a living.

"Populations of the least developed countries are less able to move, and tend to migrate over shorter distances when they do... actually, the countries with a higher level of extra-continental migration correspond to the relatively more ‘developed’ countries, that are located on the coast, that have a higher level of urbanisation, a higher GDP per capita, and that are more advanced in the demographic transition," the report observes.

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