Charting refugee and migration routes in Africa

Authored by: Solomon Getahun

Routledge International Handbook of Migration Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415779722
eBook ISBN: 9780203863299
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183493


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The continent of Africa has more than 54 countries with diverse geography, culture, economy, and history. Owing to this, it is difficult if not impossible to chart the routes of African migration and places of destinations. Even if we try, since society is in constant motion and change, today's route and destination might not be true for tomorrow. It is with this understanding that the route and destination of migration in contemporary Africa should be considered. It is also worth noting that the causes of African migration, within and outside of the continent, are far more intricate than the linear interpretation associated with economic inequalities. Prior to colonialism, the rise and fall of empires, long-distance trade (the slave trade can serve us as an excellent instance in illuminating the role of external impulses in reorienting trade routes, to say the least), transhuman lifestyle, and external impulses such as Muslim-Arab and European traders influenced patterns of migration within Africa and to other parts of the world.

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