Economic Development in Africa Report 2018

Migration and Structural Transformation

image of Economic Development in Africa Report 2018

The EDAR 2018 titled "Migration and Structural Transformation in Africa" highlights how intra-African migration is of relevance to the agenda for regional and continental integration and shows that there are still many knowledge gaps, including on the relationship between migration, economic and trade policies. The report seeks to remedy these gaps by drawing on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, global datasets, household surveys and sectoral level data to derive stylized facts about patterns of intra-African migration and channels through which they affect socio-economic development outcomes in Africa. This report innovatively adopts a human-centered narrative in identifying opportunities for absorption of extra labour in different sectors across the continent. The findings offer new insights for African governments as well as for migration stakeholders outside the continent.

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Migration and structural transformation: The global environment, the policy agenda and conceptual and data issues

This chapter provides an account of the global environment within which the subsequent analyses are conducted, situates African migration within major trends on the continent and highlights its inclusion in regional integration agendas and multilateral initiatives. It then provides a conceptual framework on the linkages between migration and structural transformation. The economic benefits of migration and the associated free flow of labour have long been showcased by economists, yet there has been minimal work on establishing a theoretical basis between international migration and structural transformation. Finally, the chapter discusses definitional issues and describes the main datasets on which this report’s analyses are based.

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