Analysing Intra-Regional Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa. Statistical Data Constraints and the Role for Regional Organizations

Publication Date: 
01 January 2015
Appearing in: 
Regions and Cohesion
Volume: 
5
Issue: 
2
Pages: 
77-113
Abstract: 

Around 80% of migration movements in Africa occur intra-regionally; but despite the still growing importance of the phenomenon, African migration data sources are often lacking or inadequate. The purpose of this research note is to assess the quality and availability of intra-regional migration statistics in sub-Saharan Africa and point to the potential role for regional organizations in this context. We argue that regional organizations should play a more important role in this area for three inter-related reasons. First, the research agenda on African migration is showing more conceptual sophistication and a stronger regional dimension, leading to new data needs at the regional level. Second, with respect to the production of statistics, the national institutions seem to underperform, requiring a complementary role for the regional organizations in between the national statistical authorities and the international institutions. And third, this new role for regional organizations can be based on the stronger mandates given to them in the area of migration governance and the fact that the demand for regional socio-economic policies related to migration is rising, which leads to a need for better informed regional policies.