Policy Support and Governance Gateway

Issue paper

Atlas: Rural Africa in Motion. Dynamics and Drivers of Migration South of the Sahara

Sub-Saharan Africa has a long history of internal and international migratory movements. Migration patterns and dynamics from, to and between rural areas are profoundly differentiated across regions, and flows have considerably evolved over time. Yet, more recently, rural migration takes place in the unique situation of a major rural and urban demographic increase, which results in critical socio-economic and environmental challenges. In this context, intertwined migration drivers emerge and call for a better understanding of on-going dynamics.

This atlas offers a comprehensive analysis of the existing migration patterns as well as the diverse and multifaceted factors that impact on migration practices. It highlights the complexity of drivers at play and explains how mobility can be a strategic response to a rapidly changing environment. New rural livelihoods are contributing to intensifying rural-urban linkages and are part of the reshaping of regional dynamics and territorial development. Supporting these new dynamics with adequate public policies and multi-stakeholder strategies is of critical importance for the future of the continent.