The current public debate on African migration to Europe is largely fuelled by visions of boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea, filled with desperate people in search of a better life. The narrative positions Africa as a “continent on the move” whose people are surging into Europe on a seemingly endless tide.
European politicians propose that Africa must be helped with investment and development aid to reduce the poverty and conflicts that drive Africans from their homes. In the meantime, barbed wire, border patrols and reception camps ought to help manage the situation.
Although media images of desperate African refugees fleeing to Europe do portray the daily reality and the often-tragic consequences of the treacherous crossing, the framing conceals more than it reveals. Certainly, the number of Africans living in Europe has increased. But, as Asmita Parshotam points out, most African migrants and refugees still move within the region and never leave the continent. For those who do look beyond Africa to improve their lives, Europe is not the only destination. Countries in Asia, the Americas and the Middle East are increasingly important for African migrants.
We hope that the articles gathered here will help to shed new light on aspects of the movement of African migrants that have remained on the margins of discussion, and to place the pressures experienced in Europe within a broader perspective.
Table of contents
- Sliding Towards Disaster: Migration in European–African Relations Asmita Parshotam
- Nigerian Migrants in China: Changing the Narrative Oreva Olakpe
- Argentina and Brazil: New Territories for West African Migration Regis Minvielle
- Stranded in the Middle East: Uganda Must Do More to Prevent Trafficking Rosebell Kagumire
- Interview: A Double Challenge: LGBTI Refugees and Asylum Seekers in South Africa Victor Mdluli Chikalogwe
- The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework: A Perspective from Kenya Felicity Okoth
- Changing Migration Realities: Sub-Saharan African Students in Morocco Souley Mahamadou Laouali
- Oh Lord, Release My Visa: Religious Beliefs and Migration in Nigeria Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
- Senegalese Migration: Between Local Motives and International Factors Aly Tandian