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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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'ICT Aided Mobility and Migration in West Africa: Imperative for Integration' by by Dr. Franca Attoh

2020-10-14 12:00
Online via Zoom

Abstract

The West African sub-region has historically been a walked-across land as migration of people within and across boarders has traditionally been an integral part of the social organisation of the societies within the sub-region. People migrate for wage labour and trade and return to origin context to invest hence migration is often circular. Around 60% of Africa’s population is currently less than 25 years old, and more than 1/3 is aged between 15-34. Contemporary migrants are in this age category, educated, ICT savvy and comprising of both men and women. The types of mobility range from seasonal labour migrations in search of better opportunities, to forced displacement due to conflicts or climatic conditions. For this category of migrants migration is neither collective nor associational, it is agentive. Using data from both empirical sources and desk reviews and borrowing from Bastia’s intersectionality of gender and the transnational perspective on migration, we posit that the ECOWAS free movement of persons in conjunction with ICT are utilized by the younger population to seek out economic opportunities in Benin Republic, Ghana and Nigeria, used as case studies in this presentation.  Furthermore, intra-regional migration will help reduce the numerous barriers created by national laws and foster greater integration within the sub-region in order to create wealth and promote mutual coexistence among member states.

Key words: Mobility, Migration, Integration, ICT, Circular migration.

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