Portail de l'appui aux politiques et de la gouvernance

Issue paper

Rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa: patterns, drivers and relation to structural transformation

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 working paper draws on a combination of literature review and data analysis, building on the results of the Atlas "Rural Africa in motion. Dynamics and drivers of migration South of the Sahara". This mixed approach is used to propose a conceptual framework based on past, current and future drivers of migration, then to examine observed patterns of rural migration and finally to discuss drivers’ characteristics and dynamics from case studies and existing datasets.

Last updated date 19/03/2020