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Migration in Africa - Who Gains and Who Lose? The Prospects and Problems of Migration in Africa: For the Migrant and the African Continent

Tesky AT*

Department of Sociology, University of Lagos, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author:
Tesky AT
Department of Sociology
University of Lagos
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date:20/08/2018; Accepted date: 03/09/2018; Published date: 17/09/2018

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This paper focused on the prospects and problems of Internal and International migration in Africa, with emphasis on the link it has with the development or the underdevelopment of the continent. Migration which involves the movement of people across the political boundaries of a town or a country has been described to be laced with some advantages and disadvantages for the migrants and the host community or country. In the course of this discuss, the pattern of internal migration in Africa was reviewed and this includes rural-rural migration, rural-urban migration, urban-rural migration and urban-urban migration. Also, the patterns of international migration in Africa were reviewed and these are mainly intra-regional migration and intercontinental migration. Few data on migration in Africa were highlighted and it was found out that, out of the 258 Million international migrants worldwide, migrants from Africa among this figure amount to 36,222,000 and this represents 14.03 percent of international world migrants. The review of extant literature in the course of this discuss showed that, internal and international migration hold some prospects for the African continent and the individual migrants. Among the prospects of internal and international migration for the African continent are: reduction in unemployment, accelerating development in Africa’s rural areas, infrastructural development in African cities, reduction in gender inequality and reducing population pressure in African cities. For the individual migrants of Africa, prospects such as: better employment with improve income, poverty reduction for migrants and family members, increasing household wealth and expansion of life opportunities including the prospect of sending remittances for family members and for self-development were listed. The discussion also highlighted some problems that internal and international migration hold for the African continent and the individual migrants. Among the problems the continent of African face from migration are: brain-drain and loss of skilled professionals, dearth and slow pace development in Africa’s key sectors, disruption of family cohesion and the marriage structure of Africa, depopulation of rural areas, reduction of labour size in the agricultural sector and overcrowding of African cities. For the individual migrants, there are problems such as displacement Research & Reviews: Journal of Social Sciences JSS | Volume 4 | Issue 3 | September, 2018 344 Received date: 20/08/2018; from residential areas, exposure to crime, exploitation and living in the ill-equipped cities of Africa. This also include problems peculiar to international migrants such as employment discrimination and de-skilling, difficulty in accessing social services, government welfare programs, harassment and social discrimination that are peculiar to the international migrants.


Energy consumption, Institutions, Financial market, Economic growth


Migration which involves the movement of people from one political border or boundary to another; has been a ubiquitous phenomenon in human history since the day man started occupying the terrestrial part of the world or engaged in productive occupations. Humans have always had a course to move, starting from the pre-industrial epoch when people lived in farm settlements to the industrial and information era where people now lived in cities and urban centres. This movement of people from one geographical location to another (i.e. migration) is caused by factors which are either social, economic, political, religious, demographic, cultural or a combination of some of these factors. In the pre-industrial era, people migrated for economic reasons in search for food and shelter or for religious reasons to attend pilgrimage.

Excerpts and extant corpus of the Bible and Koran which narrated how the children of Jacob migrated to Egypt in search of food and to Jerusalem for pilgrimage is evident of this fact. Human migration during the pre-industrial era especially in Africa was largely internal [1]. With the advent of industrialization and modern technology which has facilitated the production and development of sophisticated machines, automobiles, airplanes and the recent emergence of the information era-which has resulted in globalization of world events - migration took a new twist from internal movement to international movement. Thus, it is sufficing to say that, with the advent of industrialization and development of modern technology, coupled with the information era and the globalization of world activities, which has resulted in the inter-dependence of countries as opined by Jeronimo et al. [2]; migration has changed from largely being an internal movement to an international movement.

International migration like internal migration, which was common in the pre-industrial era, is propelled by various factors. While migration in the pre-industrial era were largely caused by economic and religious factors, that of the industrial and information era is caused either by economic, social, demographic, religious, political etc. or a combination of these factors.

In many parts of Africa, poverty is an extant characteristics in many households and it is estimated that, about 73% of the entire population in Africa live on less than $2 per day and 51% live on a meagre $1.25 a day [3]. Though poverty is rampant in many African cities, it is more concentrated in the rural areas where a large percentage of the population resides. Most rural dwellers in Africa do not have access to quality healthcare, clean drinkable water; this is also coupled with high level of malnutrition, hunger, illiteracy and unemployment [4]. This high level of poverty in the continent, propelled a lot of Africans who reside in the pauperized rural areas to migrate to the cities; and many residents in the cities migrate to other industrialised cities or to other countries.

In Africa and like most developing countries, migration is internal or international. It is internal because people move from one community, town or city to another and international because people migrate to other continents outside Africa or to countries within Africa [5]. Most of the internal migration in Africa are usually from rural to urban areas in search of better education opportunities or for employment by young school leavers and unemployed persons [5,6] or from rural areas to rural areas in search of better farming opportunities [7]. In Africa, there is also international migration among the populace and this is usually to other African countries or countries outside the continent; usually in search of better life opportunities and sometimes for education [1,5,6,8].

Extant publications such as SAMP [6]; Awunbila 2017; Deshingkar and Grimm [7] has shown that, the stock of internal migration is higher than international migration. The reason for this could be attributed to the distances covered and cost involved in international migration. Also, several journal or studies on migration has explained that, people migrate internally or internationally to explore better life prospects that could improve their life chances and that of their family members. Often times, people migrate from areas where they are experiencing negative living conditions to areas where they think there are better living conditions; and in the course of doing this, unexpected realities many times unfold.

Because migrants sometimes do not have a perfect knowledge of the conditions in the countries, cities, towns or villages they are migrating to, they encounter problems that could place them in conditions worse than where they are migrating from. Hence, it is suffix to say that, though a lot of migration decisions are influenced by better prospects in destination countries or cities, unseen problems abound, and these serve as intervening factors or variables militating against migrant prospects in destination areas.

It is in light of the above, that we want to discuss the prospects and problems of internal and international migration for the individual migrants from Africa and the different nations of Africa. Though the prospects and problems of internal and international migration in Africa are the most important issues to be addressed in this discourse, issues such as pattern of internal and international migration and data on migration in Africa will be briefly explain.

Patterns of Internal Migration in Africa

Internal migration in Africa follows certain patterns and these did not start recently. Excerpts from studies such as Yaro [5]; SAMP [6]; Deshingkar and Grimm [7] explained some of these patterns and the reason behind them. The major patterns of internal migration in Africa are explain as follows:

Rural-Rural Migration

This usually involve the movement of people from one rural area to another in search of better economic opportunities. A good example of this type of migration can be found in the Senegal valley, where rural farmers migrate along the Senegal river for groundnut cultivation [7]. Also, rural-rural migration in Africa is usually undertaken by the poorer groups with little or no education and mainly for farming purposes.

Rural-Urban Migration

This pattern of migration is one of the commonest form of migration in most Africa nations, it involves the movement of people from the rural areas to the urban centres or cities. Rural-Urban migration is usually embarked on by young or middle-aged person searching for employment, education and other better life opportunities [1,7,9].

Urban-Rural Migration

This pattern of migration is common among older persons and retirees. It usually involves the movement of people from the urban areas or cities to the rural areas, often times for permanent re-settlement. This form of migration was prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980’s and 1990’s when retrenchment under the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) affected countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia etc. [7].

Urban-Urban Migration

As the name implies, urban-urban migration is basically the movement of people from one urban area to another due to better life chances and living conditions in the new location. This form of migration is usually embarked upon by those who have been transferred from a particular urban area to another urban area for work purposes or by those who migrate to another urban area, because they have a better knowledge of life opportunities in areas of employment, business investment opportunities, affordable quality education or high rate of turnover in the business activities of that city.

Patterns of International Migration

Sub-Regional or Intra-Regional Migration

This involves the movement of people between neighboring countries or with countries they share similar economic ties and interest. Because of the economic ties and regional agreement among some countries in Africa, neighboring countries or regional economic unions such as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Southern African Development Commission (SADC); citizens move between the political borders of member states easily without visas or without strict rules on visa approval for long stays. A lot of Africans engage in international migration by leaving their country and travel to countries within the region with the prospect of having access to better work opportunities, businesses, farming or for education purposes [1,5]. A good example is the migration of farm workers from Ghana, Burkina Faso or Mali to Cote D’Ivoire for cocoa farming [7] and the migration of building construction workers from Togo to Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria as tilers or the migration of workers from Zimbabwe. Zambia and Lesotho to South Africa for work.

Inter-Continental Migration

This is the movement of people from the countries of Africa to other countries outside Africa. Inter-continental migration involves travelling long distances; and entry into any of such countries by migrants from Africa is granted through a visa issued and approved by immigration officials of that country. It should also be noted that, inter-continental migration involves stricter rules and laws, and entry is not easily granted. Also, the percentage of people who embark on inter-continental migration from Africa is low when compared to internal migrants; and many migrants who embark on intercontinental migration are mostly educated.

Data and Discussions about Africa from World recent Migration Data

Discussions from Data

Recent data on international migration in Africa were obtained from the 2017 United Nations International Migration reports. Excerpts from the reports showed that, the total stock of migrants in the world grew from 172,604,000 in the year 2010 to 257,715,000 in the year 2017. This show an increase of 85,111,000 international migrants from 2010- to-2017 and this amount to 49.0% increase in the stock of international migrants. Of this figure (i.e., 257,715,000), international migrants from Africa were 36,266,000 and this represent 14.07% of the total international world migrants as at 2017. The implication of these data mean that, out of 100 international migrants in the world, 14 are from the African continent (Table 1).

Migrants By Area Total Population Percentage Median Age
Entire World Migrants as at 2017
Entire World Migrants in 2010=(172,604)
25,77,15,000 100 39.2
Entire Africa Migrants as at 2017
Females 47.1%
3,62,66,000 14.07 30.9
International Migrants Residing in Africa as at 2017 2,50,00,000 9.7  

Table 1: Data on international migration in Africa as at 2017.

Data from the report also showed that, the median age for international migrants in the world was 39.2 as at 2017 but was 30.9 for Africa. What this implies is that, persons migrating from Africa internationally are younger than migrants from many other continents in the world. This low median age compared to that of the entire world is possible for a number of reasons. First, the stock of the population in Africa is made of mostly young persons as the birth rate in the continent is high. Secondly, the rate of unemployment among its youth is very high and this account for the low median age as more young persons are leaving the shores of the continent to seek for employment in other countries. Excerpts from the obtained data also showed that, more females from Africa are now involve in Migration as the percentage gap in migration between female and male migrants is almost closing up.

Information from data on international migration in 2017, put the total population of world migrants to be 7,550,262 (Seven Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty-two), of this figure, the African continent accounted for 1,256,268 (One Million, Two Hundred and Fifty-six Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty-eight) population of the entire international world migrant in 2017. This represent a 16.6% of the entire international world migrants. What this implies is that, out of every 100 people that migrate internationally in the world in 2017, about 17 of them are from Africa. Data from the Table 2 above also showed that, the total estimate of remittances sent back home to countries of international migrants was $413 Billion US Dollars. Of these remittances, the estimated amount sent by Africa international migrants amounted to $40 Billion US Dollars which represents 9.7% of the entire world remittances. Excerpt from these data show that, a significant number of Africans are migrating internationally and a large proportion of migrants from the continent are young as the median age from Africa when compared to the world showed.

It should be noted that, the population of international migrants from Africa could be significantly higher than the figure quoted by the 2017 highlights of the United Nation Migration reports. According to a 2017 report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Migration Flows to Europe, 186,768 persons arrive Europe from Africa through the Mediterranean Sea. Most irregular migrants from Africa who use this illegal routes are mainly young persons with improper or no migration documents. This is because a lot of young persons and middle age individual in the figures of these illegal or irregular migrants most times are not quoted when reporting international migrants in Africa; as most if not all of them claim refugee status in their destination country.

Prospects of Internal and International Migration in Africa The Individual Migrant

In terms of Migration prospects, both internal and external migrants share similar traits in what they anticipate in their new location. In view of this, the prospects of both internal and external migration will be discuss together.

Prospect of Better Employment Opportunities with Improve Income

One of the major prospects that internal and international migrants have as they migrate from their place of origin to a new location, is the prospect of having access to better employment opportunities with better earnings when compared to their previous employment. Several journals and publications in migration have emphasized this prospect as one of the push factors for migrants to leave their place of origin. Studies such as Adepoju [1]; Adepoju [8]; Deshingkar [7] and Lucas [10] cited cases where migrants, migrate to a new location because they believed they would have better employments opportunities.

In Africa, a significant number of persons have left their job or occupation and migrate to other cities or country because they have the belief they will secure a better employment with improve income. This prospect account for the reason a large number of youth leave their farming occupation in the rural areas and migrate internally to the cities in their country of birth. There are cases or instances of youth who migrated from their place of birth, to other cities such as Lagos, Port-Harcourt or Abuja in Nigeria, Accra, Kumasi or Takoradi in Ghana, Abidjan in Cote D’ivore, Yaounde in Cameroon, Cairo in Egypt, Lomé in Togo, Nairobi in Kenya, Johannesburg, Pretoria or Cape Coast in South Africa etc. to search for better employment opportunities with improved income. This is partly so because, most of the white-collar jobs and employment opportunities with better wages in Africa are usually advertised in the cities. This is also because most industries in Africa due to the absence of social amenities in rural areas, locate their firms in the cities even when the raw materials for their production are gotten from the rural areas[7,8,10]

In the cities of Africa, youths especially persons of young age below 40 years; often times resign from their job or occupation to embark on international migration with the prospect of getting a better job with improve earning in another country. The study conducted by SAMP in 2006 estimated that, about 20 million people migrate from their country of birth to other countries for reason of employment or to earn better wages. The study i.e., by SAMP [6], also gave instances of how Africa’s skilled professionals such as Doctors, Nurses, Lecturers, Engineers amongst others, have migrated to other countries outside Africa to search for better job with improve wages. Also, a lot of professionals have resigned their jobs in Africa and travel to European and North American countries.

The study of Adepoju [1] also gave instances where unemployed youths in Africa cities migrate internally to other cities and outside their country in search of better income and employment opportunities. This also include the permanent exit of skilled workers to countries such as USA, Canada, the UK and some countries in parts of Europe, with the belief that, they will earn better income than their present income and would also have access to better employment opportunities in the foreign country. This prospect of better employment opportunities and improve income is also fuelled by the way international immigration agents and local newspaper advertise jobs that are laced with mouth-watering income in other countries. The activities of those agents, local and international newspaper have also contributed to the reason why a lot of international migrants in Africa, believed and also anticipate that, they will have better jobs, earn higher income when they migrate to other countries. All these instances show that, the prospect of having better job opportunities with improve income is a significant pull factor for migration in Africa.

Prospects of Poverty Alleviation or Poverty Reduction for Self and Family Members

In many parts of Africa about 73% of the entire population live on less than $2 per day and 51% live on a meagre $2.5 a day [3]. Though poverty is rampant in many African cities, it is more concentrated in the rural areas, with a large percentage of the population not having access to healthcare, clean drinkable water, coupled with high level of malnutrition, hunger, illiteracy and unemployment [4].

One of the gains that people expect from their decision to embark on migration (whether internal or international) is to reduce or alleviate poverty in their life and that of their family members. This is so because of the economic changes they have seen from people and their family who migrated to other cities or country. Also, various studies and journals in migration have emphasized that, migration is a way out of poverty and one of the means to reduce poverty.

The DFID report [9]; SAMP [6]; Deshingkar and Grimm [7] and Adepoju [1] explained in their study; how poverty reduction or alleviation is a prospect for both internal and international migrants. Report and findings from the study conducted by the IOM, Deshingkar and Grimm [7], listed population mobility (i.e., migration) as a necessary condition for poverty alleviation in Africa. ASFAR citied in IOM, Deshingkar and Grimm [7] reiterate that, migration help to reduce poverty directly or indirectly. Adepoju [1] has also listed examples of how families sponsor a family member to embark on international migration in Sub-Saharan Africa so as to help reduce poverty in the family or improve the dwindling household economic resources.

The prospect of poverty alleviation or reduction by migrants, is also heightened by the way the electronic media portray cities or urban centres and foreign countries in films and documentaries. Most local films on one hand, portray the urban centres or cities as places of greener pasture where there is no poverty but filled with enjoyment and surplus wealth. On the other hand, international movies and documentaries present countries, especially the ones outside Africa; as places where there are no poor people, no hunger, no destitute and as places with absence of unemployment problems. This is evident from the way Nollywood films show the best places in Abuja or Lagos, where people live with exotic cars, good houses with better living conditions in their homes. Also, the Hollywood films present images of USA as a land filled with milk and honey devoid of hunger, homelessness and poor people. These images of cities and international countries, as presented by the media, make migrants to have the notion or anticipate that, migrating to these places will help them and their family members to move out of poverty.

The expectation of poverty alleviation or reduction is further heightened by the way previous migrants who migrated from their community send money back home to their family members to enhance their living conditions. Apart from the media and instances from previous migrants, migration whether internal or international has served as a means to reduce poverty among the people who migrated or their relatives who remain at home SAMP [6]. Because of poverty according to a report found in SAMP [6], a lot of people migrated in the 1990s and 2000s from the rural areas of some African countries to cities and some skilled professionals migrated from the urban centres to other countries due to the poverty they were experiencing.

Further reports showed that, poverty among these migrants were reduced in few years and started remitting money home to their loved ones and to build social amenities in their communities. These instances and examples, show why a lot of migrants who are poor nurture the desire to migrate out of their present location so that they can remedy their situation out poverty.

Prospects of Remittances to Family Members and for Self-Development

One of the reason people migrate is to assist themselves and those who are related to them. One of the things migrants look forward to do when they arrive in their new location, is to remit money to assist the family members they left behind and to also save for developing themselves in the future. Several examples and instances from migration journals and publications showed that, part of the reasons why people migrate is to send money back home for their loved ones and to save certain amount they would use to develop or improve themselves when they return. Several migration studies and journals such as SAMP[6]; Adepoju [1]; Adepoju [8]; DFID [9]and Lucas[10], have listed remittances as a reason or as part of the incentives why people migrate internally and internationally. For instance, Lucas [10] in his study found out that, internal migrants in Botswana and some other Sub-Saharan African cities, send remittances back home to family members during difficult periods such as droughts or poor harvests. Also, Adepoju[1]in his study emphasized the importance of remittances by internal migrants, when he said that: “for many families’ remittances are a lifetime investment and the dominant source of income to pay for rent, home construction, medical expenses, school fees, business investment and a variety of other economic activities”.

The study by Adepoju[1]also noted that, in some poor Sub-Saharan African countries, remittances in foreign currency are given significant attention by the governments in these countries and they work actively to encourage labour migration to other countries. Also, individuals who embark on migration whether internal or international see remittances as a way of maintaining close touch with the family members they left behind. When people migrate or are about to migrate, they anticipate or expect that, they are going to other new destination to make more money, which they would use to develop themselves in the future; such as investing in businesses, constructing or building good homes for themselves, improving their children education and help family members who are not stable financially. To do these effectively or for those expectations to be fulfilled, migrants know that they have to send money back home to be saved for them, for future use or to assist family members who are not stable financially. Some studies conducted in Africa, have shown the volume of remittances sent back to Africa by African migrants who travelled internationally from some African countries. The SAMP[6]report give the figure of remittances in Botswana in 1988 to be $187 million dollars and in 1999 $67 million dollars. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago which was cited in the SAMP[6]estimated that, Nigerians in the United States alone send $1.3 billion or more each year back home to Nigeria and this according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, is more than the annual flow of United States International Aid (USAID) to Nigeria. To further buttress the importance of remittances back home, as one of the pull factors for migrants to travel, a sample survey of Africa’s international migrants from Nigeria showed that, the average remittance sent home by those surveyed international migrants, amounted to $6,000 per person in year, with 60% of these remittances going into basic household needs. Also, remittances sent home by the international migrants where higher when the family members back home are poorer [6]. Elsewhere in Ghana, Mensah-Bonsu cited in SAMP [6] find out that, individual migrants who embarked on internal migration send home only $5-$15 US dollars a year. While the total annual flow of remittances from Ghanaians abroad in 2003 amount to $ 1.5 billion US dollars with an average remittance of $ 2,200 a year by each person. These examples show that, people anticipate or nurture the expectation when they migrate, of remitting money home so that they could save for future use or to help family members they left behind and this is evident in the amount of money sent from other continents to countries in Africa.

Prospect of Enjoying Quality Life

One of the reasons why people migrate is to live a better life than the one they lived before migration. Among the things that a migrant from Africa anticipate to enjoy in his or her new location is, quality life that is better than that of previous location. Most migrants from Africa hope to see improved social amenities, improved economy, good governance, better education or healthcare in their new destination. Adepoju [1] gave examples and instances of how unstable politics and poor education propelled African youths to migrate to other continents. In Africa, one of the things that propels young school leavers in the rural areas (aside unemployment) to migrate to the urban centres is; their prospect of having access to improved infrastructural facilities and good education. This is because, in terms of quality of life, the rural areas of Africa lag seriously behind the cities. Thus, in a bid to enjoy the social amenities in the cities and the attractive night life mostly common in urban centres, many rural migrants migrate to these urban centres with the anticipation that, their quality of life will improve when they have access to electricity, clean drinkable water, hospitals, good roads, higher education and well-furnished accommodation. Also, among residents in urban centres and cities of Africa, many are fed up with the political crises, poor governance, insecurity, economic instability, unresponsive government, environmental disasters, infrastructural decay, poor educational system, inter-ethnic cum religious wars-all of which amount or result to poor standard of living for many urban dwellers. As a result of these, many urban dwellers who though may be earning a decent salary, migrate internationally from African cities to other countries, with the hope of living a quality life devoid of fear, ethno-religious crises, failure of government to protect citizens’ life, lack of or dearth of infrastructural facilities, access to good healthcare, clean environment and functional social institutions.

According to Adepoju [8], factors such as ecological deterioration, political failure, economic decline and even population explosion have prompted varieties of migration configurations, such as migration of skilled professionals, refugees and students to leave their country of birth to other countries where standard of living is better than their home country. Because of the deteriorating social conditions in Africa, the region battles with so many social issues such as high rate of poverty usually caused by high rate of population growth. According to Adepoju [1], Africa battles with deteriorating social conditions because of issues of poor education, poor healthcare system, malnutrition, poor governance, poverty-and all these compare to other continents have made the region to have low standard of living and short life expectancy when compared to other continents in the world. In order to escape these anomalies, a lot of Africans migrate out of their place of birth, to another country with the high prospect of enjoying an improved healthcare system, quality education, a safe and free environment devoid of ethnic and religious crises, good governance, functional social amenities and social institutions.

As a result of the low quality of life and poor standard of living common among a large percentage of African populace, and the prospect of living a quality life overseas, many Africans migrants do whatever it takes to leave the shores of the continent. Some migrants go as far as claiming refugee status in another country even when they are not, some young person’s get married to spouse older than them, just to secure visa or citizenship of another country; and others migrate illegally in a bid to escape the harsh living conditions in many African countries with the hope of actualizing their dreams of living a quality life. This reason account for why a lot of poor African migrants who cannot afford to travel legally through air flight, migrate illegally through the Sahara Desert in Sub-Saharan Africa just to get to Europe, with the prospect of achieving their dream of enjoying an improve quality life.

Prospect of Social Mobility, Self-Development and Improving Social Status

In many parts of Africa including the cities and rural areas, the social status of people is very low. This is because, a large percentage of the population are concentrated or can be found in the lower class rank of society with little or no income. According to a report on comparison of daily income in Africa with that of the European union, it was discovered that, daily income per person in Africa is $5.6 while that of the European union countries is $75.5 [3]. The daily income of a European resident or citizen is about 13 times that of an African citizen. This wide gap in terms of income by African citizens and that of European countries, places most persons in Africa in the lower or lowest echelon of the social strata and this makes social mobility and self-development difficult for most people in Africa.

Because a large percentage of African citizens are in the lower social class (with a few in the higher and middle class) in their society -due to poor income that does not guarantee self-development and social mobility - many resort to or are pushed to migrate to a new location, where socio-economic activities are favourable, (compared to their pervious location) with a view to improving their social image (status) among their peers, and also have the opportunity to climb the social ladder and develop themselves. A few studies have commented on the anticipation; on how migrants intends to improve their status in their destination city or country - and create opportunities that will enable them climb the social ladder of their society.

For instance, a report culled from ‘UNDESA Issue Briefs’, emphasized that, migration whether internal or international, can be a positive effect on young people , because it opens up new opportunities-such as opportunity to acquire higher education, secure a better descent job, a chance or opportunity to acquire professional training or personal development, by building self-confidence and allowing migrants to acquire skills that are beneficial to themselves and could make social mobility possible. To further support the assertion that, social status improvement, social mobility-cum-selfdevelopment are some of the prospects of migration in Africa, excerpts from the DFID [9] report would be a useful point of reference. The DFID [9] report emphasized that, migrants from poor developing countries including sub-Saharan African countries, have the hope of earning an increase income, learning a new skill, improving their social status, build assets and improve their quality of life. It helps to improve the social status of women especially through gender equality-when women who migrate earn more income to take care of their household and support their spouses. These assertions corroborate with some of the pragmatic cases we see in African urban centres and rural areas. Many internal migrants who migrated from the villages to urban areas, are usually held in high esteem at their home town or place of birth, this is partly because they live in the cities or urban centres and also because, they dress well, remit money back home, could speak another language, have acquire higher education or because they now behave as civilized people. Also, international migrants from Africa who reside in a different country, especially those outside the shores of Africa, are accorded high regard by their peers and family members; and this often times help to uplift their social image and contributes to improving their social status. Because of the respect accorded to migrants in many Africa villages, a lot of young persons who desire to migrate internally or internationally, expect that they would have a higher social status compared to their peers who still reside in the villages or urban centres of their home country. These migrants also expect that, they will have access to better opportunities in their destination location, which would help them to acquire better education and assume a new position in society. These examples explain why in Nigeria and most African communities, people incur huge expenses to travel back home especially during festive periods to see loved ones and relatives, mostly with the aim of sustaining and promoting the respect they are accorded in their communities of birth. This assertion also explains why, when people travel back home from the cities or a foreign country, relatives and friends try to put sufficient effort to see or relate with them before they travel back.

Prospect of Increasing Household Wealth and Expansion Life Opportunities for Families

In many parts of Africa, families that have a member of their household in the city or in another country receive cash or financial assistance through remittances. Several studies such as SAMP [6], Adepoju [1], Deshingkar and Grimm [7] and Lucas [10] gave instances of what remittances are used for. Some of the remittances sent by migrants are used to offset bills and assist other family members.

Among the prospects nurtured by migrants from Africa, is that of assisting family members left behind, by sending or remitting money to them. As time goes on, these remittances by migrants are invested in family members either to learn new skills, for education or to invest in businesses. These economic activities in no time would help to expand the life opportunities of family members and increase the household wealth. Studies such as the DFID report of 2007 gave instances of how the receipt of remittances help migrants families to gain new skills, opened up new opportunities to benefit previously poor households. These previously poorer household in time will have the financial resources to sponsor another family member to migrate [8]. This is also true in that, migrants once they are established, try to form social networks that they would use to assist other family members. Adepoju [1] in collaboration with UNRISD, IOM and IFS emphasized that, in Sub-Saharan Africa, because of deteriorating socio-economic conditions, many families used selective migration and sometimes differential investment in education as a strategy to pursue economic mobility, ensure the survival of its members or to supplement dwindling financial resources of the household. These assertions explain why many migrants from Africa invest in families they left behind, so that they could migrate and add to the household wealth and expand economic opportunities of the family.

Prospects of Migration for the African Continent

Apart from the prospects of the individual migrants discussed above, the continent of Africa and the several communities have some positive results or prospects they could gain from migration. The factors highlighted and discuss below are the positive results that African communities and the continent stand to reap from migration.

Prospect of Employment Creation and Reduction in Unemployment across Africa

One of the prospects, Africa as a continent would reap from both internal and international migration is the creation of employment opportunities in the rural areas and urban centres. Several journals and studies on migration such as SAMP [6]; Lucas [10]; Deshingkar and Grimm [7]; [1] and DFID [9] have highlighted or gave evidences of remittances that are sent home by migrants in urban centres or those in foreign countries to family members left behind. These remittances are used to either invest in new businesses, pay household rents, for education or for the construction of new homes. Some of these activities, especially investment in new businesses or construction of new homes, could help create employment in the different locations they are sited, whether at the rural or urban area.

In many rural or urban areas of Africa, remittances received from migrants within the country or those outside, are invested in new business opportunities and this serve as a platform for employing people who will assist in executing the plans of the business. Also, the SAMP [6] study highlighted agriculture (in the form of farm clearing and planting) as one of the sectors remittances from Africans overseas are invested on. Agriculture has been identified as one of the sectors that could effectively reduce unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa [4]. Thus, when remittances from Africa migrants overseas and urban areas are invested in agriculture, this will contribute to increased agricultural activities and help create employment for over 65% of Africa’s population that reside in the rural areas[4]

Prospect of Accelerating Development in Africa’s Rural Areas

Among future the dividends that Africa stands to reap from migration, both internal and international; is the acceleration of development in the rural areas. Excerpts and extant corpus on migration have estimated remittances from Africa’s migrants to run into billions of US dollars. For instance, Ratha et al. [11] in collaboration with World Bank and IBRD, gave the estimate of remittance inflow into Africa to be about $40 billion US dollars and this represent 2.6 percent of the continents GDP in 2010 and was the 2nd highest inflow into Africa after Foreign Direct Investment-FDI [11]. Most of these remittances are sent to assist family members left behind; and a large percentage of these remittance receivers live in the rural areas of Africa. Also, African migrants who reside in African cities remit money to family members in the rural areas. Some of these remittances according to SAMP [6], Ratha et al. [11] are invested in services that the government in many African countries cannot adequately provide and these include; private provision of education, healthcare, rural housing, provision of individual electricity, water or for investment in agro-business. When individual households in the rural areas use remittances from migrants living within or outside the country to provide their own electricity, pipe-borne water, build health centres, invest in agriculture or education, they are contributing to the acceleration of development in the rural areas. Also, when remittances are invested in agriculture-which is mostly a rural activity in Africa, it would help to reduce hunger, unemployment, improve farmers’ income and this would also contribute in accelerating the development of rural areas.

Prospect of Infra-Structural Development in African Cities

Because of the large concentration of educated people on the continent of Africa in the cities, many have easy access to information on migration with regard to countries that have favourable socio-economic conditions that favours migrants. This is partly because of the presence of technology in the cities and contact with previous migrants who now live in other countries. These factors highlighted above, makes it easy for more urban dwellers to migrate internationally. Many international migrants from the urban centres of Africa to other countries, whether within or outside Africa, usually migrate with the hope to return and settle down permanently in Africa. A lot of these migrants from urban centres, many of whom are skilled professionals remit money back home to build their personal homes, invest in real estates, health and medical centres, schools, hotels or office spaces; coupled also with the provision of their own electricity or water for these businesses. Some examples of Africa migrants investing back home can be found in the 2018 report by Pamela Ofori Boateng[12]. For instance, the Kanu Heart Foundation in Nigeria (a charity foundation for heart surgical operation), Didier Drogba building a school in Cote D’Ivoire, Samuel Eto building a paediatric centre in Douala Cameroun to reduce the mortality of infants, Asamoah Gyan of Ghana building a sport complex at his former school in Accra; are all examples of former Africans coming back home to invest in Africa [12]. All these investments in health, education, sport or hospitality sectors help to contribute to the infrastructural development in many African cities.

Prospects of Reducing Gender Inequality in Many African Communities

Previous studies and extant publications on gender studies in Africa, gave instances of gender inequality or the wide gap between men and women in areas of employment, wage differences, enrolment in schools, occupational mobility or access to land [13]. Because Africa is a patriarchal society, men are the major inheritors of family properties and are breadwinners in many African households. The women largely depend on men for major finances and these help to create and expand the irregularities or inequalities that exists between the gender. However, excerpts from studies such as DFID [9] on migration in Africa, stated that, the face of migration is changing and the number of women engaging in migration both internally and internationally are increasing. To ascertain the degree of women involvement in migration in Africa, the report on migration by the United Nations 2017 international migration report, gave the estimates of female among international migrants from Africa in 2017 to be 47.1% as against 46.9% in 2010. Also, the study by Ratha et al. [11]showed that, there was similarity in migration between women and men in Ghana, and the annual earning of women among current migrants from Ghana was about $120,000 US dollars as against about $100,000 for the Ghanaian men. They emphasized that, migration is shaping values and attitudes towards gender roles within the household[11]Excerpts from their study showed that, migration provides new economic opportunities forwomen and this help to empower widows and women from failed marriages to take care of their family without depending on men. Migration has been promoted as one of the means to empower dependent women economically, because women who migrate to the cities or other country, have access to good job with better wages and this afford them the opportunity to invest in themselves by learning new skills, acquiring higher education, training their children or investing in businesses. These migration opportunities help to reduce the gap or inequalities that exist between men and women in Africa. Through migration, we now have independent single mothers or widows who can raise their family without depending on men for assistance. In essence, we could say that, Africa have the prospect of reducing gender inequalities as more and more women from the continent embark on migration whether internally or internationally.

Prospect of Reducing Population Pressure in African Cities

One of the prospects of internal and international migration for Africa as a continent, is the reduction of population pressure in African cities and rural areas. Currently there is a dearth and shortage of infrastructural facilities in many cities and rural areas of Africa, as they cannot cater for the needs of the ever increasing population of the continent. It has been estimated from recent journals of migration such as SAMP [6], Deshingkar and Grimm [7], that Africa is next to Asia in terms of migration figure. Ratha et al. [11] gave the estimates of migrants from Africa living outside their country as at 2010 to be 30.6 million (less the 14 million living within Africa countries) - which means 16.6 million Africans were living in another continent as at 2010.

The African union report cited in SAMP[6], estimated migrants from Africa to be one-third of the total 190 million international migrants in the world; and this amount to 63.3 million. In contrast, the ILO report cited in SAMP [6], estimated African international migrants to be 20 million. Excerpts from these reports showed that, a large number of Africans are residing overseas. If the international community or other countries of the world were to send the number of Africa migrants, that are residing in other continents back to Africa, this will put more pressure on the already over populated cities and meagre social amenities in Africa. Thus, it is suffix to say that, migration of Africans to other continents help to reduce the population and social amenities pressure that African cities experience; since there is currently a shortage of infrastructural facilities which often times result to; inadequate admission space in schools, unsteady electricity, poor road networks, scarcity of clean drinkable water, inadequate healthcare centres and accommodation issues in many highly populated African cities.

Problems of Internal and International Migration

Though migration is seen or used; as one of the route out of poverty for many people, it could also be a route or entry into poverty, social discrimination, de-skilling, disruption of family union or disorganisation of a society’s economy. Internal and international migrants in Africa, often times experience problems in their destination location. These problems are usually not perceived or taken note of, when preparing for migration. Also, migration whether internal or international poses some problems for the different communities, towns or social institutions of Africa. In view of these, let us discuss and examine the problems of internal and international migration for the individual, communities and social institutions of Africa.

Problems of International Migration for the African Continent

Problem of brain drain and loss of Africa’s skilled professionals

One of the acute problems international migration has caused the continent of Africa is; brain drain and the loss of skilled professionals to other continents [6]. Because of the temporary un favorable socio-economic conditions in some countries of Africa, many of the skilled professionals such as Doctors, Nurses, Lecturers or Information Communication Technology Engineers, have migrated out of the continent to find succour and assist in improving the health and technology sectors of other continents. According to SAMP [6] “many African countries government and international organisations, pay the most attention to the movement of skilled professionals from Africa to the United States and Europe; and they are taken measures to limit this flow or encourage their return”.

The SAMP [6] report also emphasized that, key policies themes in Africa include a clear concern for the loss of skilled professionals. These assertions gleaned from the SAMP [6] report proved that, the African continent is experiencing a loss of her skilled professionals due to international migration. Apart from the loss of skilled professionals, the continent has also witnessed enormous loss of her future intellectuals through brain-drain. A large percentage of Africa students emigrate to other continents for further studies and many do not return home after completing their studies. Adepoju et al. [14] explained how the migration of Africans brain is becoming brain-gain or brain-waste to other continents. This is because, young intellectuals who left the continent for further studies end up contributing to the economy of their host country or become brain-waste when they are not allowed to use their skills in destination countries and may not return home to Africa due to the fears of life uncertainties prevalent in Africa. Adepoju [8]also discussed the magnitude and impact of brain drain on the continent of Africa. According to a United Nations report cited in Adepoju [8]it says: “over the next decade, Africa will need to train an additional 1 million healthcare professionals”. To ascertain the extent and effects of brain drain due to migration out of the continent, SAMP[6]gave some useful figures on brain drain from Nigeria the most populous country in Africa. According to the SAMP[6]report, it says: “nearly 15,000 Nigerians migrated legally to Europe and North America every year from 1995-2001”. The exodus of Nigerian academics and students according to the SAMP[6]report, has reinforced a decline in standards of university education in Nigeria. This is as a result of the large percentage of Nigerian youths migrating outside Africa for studies and some academicians going for further research and getting stocked. All over Africa, the migration of young Africans for further studies outside the continent, and the migration of skill professionals in the medical and engineering field including those in the academics, is having a negative toll on the continent human resource development.

Problem of dearth and slow pace development in the key sectors of African economy

International migration of Africa’s professionals, is having a negative impact on the development of key sectors of the African economy. Studies such as Adepoju et al. [14] ; SAMP [6] highlights some key sectors in Africa economy that are not growing but collapsing gradually. In Africa, the wealthy class and their family members often times travel to other countries for issues relating to medical treatment or for education purposes. The reason! the education and health sectors are poorly managed and there is a dearth of both material and human resources. Adepoju et al.[14]in their study emphasized that, brain drain is crippling key sectors and development efforts of countries from the southern hemisphere (i.e., Africa). Adepoju et al. [14]in their report indicated that, the Senegalese educational sector is facing a serious development problem because; Senegal suffers the loss of its most trained human resources after their academic or professional training; due to migration to European countries and North America.

It has also been emphasized by UNICEF cited in Adepoju et al. [11] that; “the existence of Sub-Saharan Africa health sectors services is threatened due to brain drain or migration of medical professionals”. In many African countries, there is a developmental set-back in sectors such as health, education or engineering due to loss of trained professionals to other continents. According to Adepoju et al [14] the Ministry of Planning and National Development in Kenya decry the loss of skilled professionals it has trained to other countries in Europe. The ministry put the estimate of a Kenyan trained Doctor to be $518,000 per doctor and $340,000 for a Nurse.

The educational and engineering sector of Africa is also among the sectors badly hit by international migration. A lot of students graduate every year from universities without learning the rudiments in practical courses like Engineering, Medicine and the Information Communication Technology disciplines; because there are no trained professionals they can learn from. Many of the trained professionals that would have teach them are teaching in other continents universities. Adepoju[8]described the problem poor countries of Africa face as a result of losing their specialists in Information Technology, Engineering and Medicine to other rich countries, and this has affected the kind of students being churned out in universities of African countries. This is because according to Adepoju[8], there is no requisite rigour of learning from older experts in their fields and they are not doing research for development and training. These highlighted instances have an effect on stalling development activities and accelerating the collapse of key sectors and institutions in Africa. This show that, key sectors such as health, education, ICT and Engineering are experiencing slow growth; due to the massive outflow of professionals’ train in Africa to other continents, and many are not thinking of coming back soon.

Problem of disrupting family cohesion and Africa’s marriage structure

International migration by Africans is having a negative effect on the marriage structure of Africa nations and also their family settings. Africa is a continent that values custom and tradition, and these have been part of the life of many African citizens. One of the institutions that have been disrupted as a result of international migration in Africa, is the marriage and family institution. Because of international migration, many Africans who desire to marry but migrated illegally to other continents and could not secure their resident papers, find it difficult (even after a prospective spouse has been found) to come back to their place of birth; for the formal marriage rites to be carried out as Africa’s custom demands. These people often times perform these customary marriage rites through representative marriage. Though there are no scholarly research about this form of marriage yet, it has been witnessed in some parts of Africa and Nigeria inclusive – ‘Representative marriage occurs when the bride and the groom are not present in their marriage but are represented either by their pictures or a family member during traditional marriage rites’. Many African migrants who resides in other countries illegally but still want to perform these customary marriage rites at home, often times perform their marriage rite this way; so that the marriage can become legal from the African customary requirements and so that the partners involve will be accepted by both the families of the bride and groom. This new concept of representative marriage, due to illegal migration of some Africa nationals who cannot come back home during performance of customary marriage rites; is a disruption to the marriage structure and system in Africa.

International migration has also disrupted the family union in many Africa communities and cities. There have been cases where the husband would travel to another country, leaving children and his wife behind for many years. In a bid to secure their residency legally in the host country, some African men marry the native women of their destination country while their wives and children are left behind in Africa. This has resulted to many broken homes, family in-cohesion, children not having close relationship with their parents and often times the women left behind by these men remarry. For instance, Ratha, et al [11] opined in their study that, “migration has been associated with a higher probability of family breakdown”. Also in Ratha et al. [11] emphasized that, “although the decision to migrate may be in the interest of the family’s welfare, separation from one’s immediate family often entails considerable emotional cost and can erode family structures and social relationships”. Ratha et al.[11]opined that, emigration result in breakdown of family ties and this can impose significant emotional cost on children. A society with many broken families or home is susceptible to high rate of crime. This is because, many of the children from broken homes are left with little or no parental care; as many of their parents remarry and are left to fend for themselves in the streets. All these highlighted examples above, have a negative impact on Africa’s family structure and marriage system.

Problems of Internal Migration for Africa Nations

Decline in rural population

In many African nations, people especially youth, migrate from the rural areas to the cities in search of jobs or for education purposes, leaving mostly the elderly behind. This is partly because, most of the jobs and industries are located in the cities, and agriculture is the major source of income for rural dwellers. This pattern of internal migration has left the rural areas with a sparse population and some rural areas are inhabited by mostly the elderly. The SAMP [6] identified rural depopulation as one of the effects of rural-urban migration in many countries of Africa. The depopulation of rural areas usually arises due to poor income from agriculture. This in turn pressures a large number of the rural inhabitants to migrate to other cities to seek employment or engage in businesses. Yaro[5]in his article ‘Migration Patterns in West Africa’ commented on the impact; internal migration from the rural to urban areas, have on the rural communities. According to Yaro[5], the process of rural to urban migration has created empty spaces in the rural areas and many of the households are getting smaller. Many of the homes according to him are not inhabited, the problem now is getting how to fill these empty spaces.

Many families in some Africa communities who are well established in the city, have taken their family members to join them in the city they live. This action by many medium income earners in African cities, often times contributes to depopulating the rural areas of Africa, and lead to other social problems such as economic decline or ageing rural population.

Reduction of labour size in Africa’s agricultural sector and the creation of food insecurity

In Africa, agricultural activities are mostly concentrated in the rural areas because most available lands for farming are also concentrated in the rural lands. The migration of many young people from the rural areas, leaves the large bulk of the farming activities for the fragile older population. Because older population do not constitute the working population in Africa, their work rate does not offer quality labour service that could improve the continents agricultural sector, and this has a negative consequence for food security in Africa.

SAMP [6] in their study affirmed that, rural-urban migration has resulted in loss of agricultural production, this is because many of the capable hands have migrated to [5]in his article, highlighted reduced labour size as one of the challenges of emigration from the rural areas. Using his exact ipsissima-verba he said: "out migration leads to drastically reduced labour size and quality of production which in turn reduce farm sizes and quality of work, resulting in reduced food production and reduced household wealth, with consequences of increased vulnerability in many rural areas leading to food insecurity”. His assertion shows that, emigration from the rural areas of Africa to the cities is having a toll on the labour size in the agricultural sector and this in turn is affecting the quality and quantity of food available in Africa. To further stress the impact of internal migration on the labour size of the agricultural sector in relations to quantity and quality of food available for Africans, Adepoju[14]discovered that, the migration of young men and women from Botswana (a country in Africa) rural areas; had a depressing effect on the development of agriculture by discouraging the modern farming methods. Their study also emphasized that, the general shortage of men has led to less farm areas being ploughed, low yields from crops and these has lowered agricultural incomes for families that their members have migrated. The migration of able bodied men and women from the rural areas of Africa to these cities have affected the labour size in the contentment’s agricultural sector and this is having a negative effect on the quantity of food available for Africans.

Overcrowding of African cities and stress on urban Infrastructures

In many cities or urban areas of Africa, slums and shanties are a characteristic of the demographic configuration. The existence of slums and shanties are as a result of the inability of most African countries to accommodate the ever increasing population of people migrating from surrounding rural areas to the city. From the city of Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi in Ghana, to the city of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt in Nigeria, to the city of Freetown in Sierra Leone, Monrovia in Liberia, Johannesburg, Cape Town or Pretoria in South Africa, Kigali in Rwanda, Douala in Cameroun or the city of Dakar in Senegal, there are areas or places where shanties and slums are located. As a result of the high population in many African industrial cities, resulting from high rate of migration from the rural areas, there is stress on the infrastructures and housing system of these cities. This stress on housing facilities is caused by over-population in the urban areas and the high cost involve in affording a descent accommodation. Because many of the migrants from the rural areas are ill prepared financially, they resort to building shanties in abandoned lands or rent cheap houses that are located in the slum areas of the city. This form of urban settlement is in agreement with the words of Deshingkar[15]who said: "poor immigrants to the city usually stay in slums or even insecure accommodation”. Also the study conducted by SAMP[6] stressed that, rural-urban migration put a strain on the infrastructural facilities in the urban areas. In many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, there is a shortage or dearth of infrastructural facilities in the urban areas. The 2007 World Economic Forum[16]report stressed that, migration to cities put stress on urban infrastructures in areas such as housing, healthcare, transportation, education, sanitation and waste management. Evidence corroborating the assertion of the World Economic Forum report can be seen from the way people scramble for commercial buses during closing hours in Lagos-Africa’s most populous city. These could also be seen from the hips of waste and slum accommodations that surround the city due to overcrowding resulting from frequent migration from other cities and rural areas.

Problems of Internal Migration for the Individual Migrant

Displacement from place of residence by local authorities

For many rural-urban migrants who do not have social networks in the urban areas, slums and unauthorised accommodation serve as a means of accommodation to them. This is mainly because of the difficulty in accessing accommodation and the high cost involve in securing one. In Africa, most first time migrants to urban centres who do not have established social networks are faced with the challenge of finding suitable shelter. Because of these, first time migrants who stay in shanties, slums or unauthorised areas such as uncompleted buildings, are often times displaced by the urban security operatives. They study by IOM in collaboration with Deshingkar and Grimm [7] explained that, new arrivals who came into the urban areas but live in culvert cylinders and garbage areas, stay in hiding because of fear of police. Deshingkar [15] in his study also emphasized that, even migrants who earn reasonable amount of income, often face threats of eviction and some unfortunate ones sleep in the open. Those who are fortunate to find accommodation in shanties or slums sometimes face forcible eviction due to the demolition of their dwellings by the urban planning authorities or the police [15]. Mberu [17] also opined in her study that, a large proportion of the population in Africa cities live in overcrowded slums and sprawling shanty towns around the major cities.

This problem of lack of access to accommodation and possible displacement, has rendered many rural-urban migrants homeless in most African cities. In Lagos, the most populous city in Africa, many people reside in slums, uncompleted buildings and in shanties; and are often times chased away by police or the land owners. A few others could also be seen sleeping under the bridges, class rooms of higher institutions or religious buildings.

Exposure to crime, exploitation and the risk of living in ill-equipped cities

Because many of the first time migrant to urban areas in Africa countries are not conversant with city’s life and the pros and cons that are needed to navigate through the city, they often fall prey to exploiters and many are expose to crime and the ill equip cities of Africa. Because of not being able to secure a healthy accommodation, many first time rural-urban migrants reside in slums, shanties or uncompleted buildings. These type of accommodation are usually the haven of crimes across most cities of Africa. Because of engaging in daily activities with some of the residents in these slums or shanties, many first time migrants are exposed to a host of nefarious activities. Deshingkar [15] stressed that, young girls who live in this type of residential areas are usually exposed to prostitution. Also, migrants who live in these shanties or slums of urban areas are often victims of crimes or learn crime from other residents who live among them.

Mberu [17] in her study listed crime as one of the characteristics of shanty town around major cities. When police or the law enforcement agents are looking for criminals, they often go into the shanty towns and slums to arrest both criminals and non-criminals who in the end become victims of crime. These shanty towns and slums are also the hubs for hard drugs and heavy alcohol consumption.

Also, because a lot of places in many African urban areas are ill equipped in terms of social amenities, many of the first time migrants who reside in these areas are exposed to debilitating environmental conditions, poor health outcomes, risky reproductive behaviour and lack of access to basic amenities [17]. These life style and dangerous living conditions makes the life of these internal migrants more dangerous compared to when they were in the rural areas.

Vulnerable to exploitation by employers and job agents

Studies such as Lucas [10]; Mberu [17], Deshingkar [15] and SAMP [6] discussed the exploitation new migrants in Africa face. Many first time urban migrants in Africa, because of their naivety and inexperience about urban life, are often exploited by the city fraudsters. Many who came to the city for employment purposes are exploited by employment agents or pseudo recruiters. Many of these pseudo recruiters or job agents exploits these new urban migrants through fake and misleading job adverts, or ask them to pay money for registration so that they could help them secure a job which most times may not come. In occasions when the promised job does come, the commission the agent would collect from the jobseekers’ salary will be enormous. This could be seen today as many recruiting firms collect huge commission for people they help to get job. Mberu [17] in her study also listed exploitation as one of the challenges internal migrants to urban centres in Africa face; and this could be seen in various areas. Employers of labour also contribute to this debacle. Many new migrants in urban centres fall prey to undisclosed cheap wage jobs that are advertised by employers. Because these new migrants want to do anything and earn a living, they accept these jobs only to discovered what lies underneath them. Many employers exploit these new migrant by paying very low wages and making them work extra hours or days without any additional form of compensation. The SAMP [6] report highlighted the exploitation the women and female folks who are new to the city also face. Many of them are sexually harassed in their cause of searching for job and others are recruited as sex workers without their consent after previously being told they will work as house-helps in homes or as sales girls in hotels [6]. Many accept this new form of job and new way of life because they don’t have anywhere to stay and don’t what to go back to the rural areas they came from.

Problems of International Migration for the Individual

The problem of job discrimination and de-skilling

One of the major problems international migrants from African countries face in their destination countries is the problem of job discrimination and de-skilling. Because the educational qualifications and trainings obtained in institutions of many African countries are not recognized abroad, many international migrants from African countries are not employed or allowed to practice in the professional careers of the destination country. This is because, the educational qualifications or trainings they received from institutions of learning in Africa are deemed incapable or insufficient to manage professional positions in their country. Hence, a lot of international migrants from Africa are not employed in their primary area of training and their skills are usually not put to use but jettisoned. Many international migrants who were trained as Engineers, Doctors, Pharmacists, Architects or Accountants in Africa; are not allowed or employed to practice these professions in their destination countries. Many are employed in jobs that does not require skills and this result to de-skilling or decline in the use of skills. Often times, they are required to obtain a long time training in the destination country before they are allowed to manage even infinitesimal job positions. There had been cases in countries such as Canada where an Engineer and a Medical Doctor, who migrated from Africa where both employed as a Driver and Cleaner; whereas in Africa they were gainfully employed in their profession without being discriminated [18]. When professional international migrants from Africa are employed in less or non-skill occupations, the skills previously obtained by them will decline and this most times render professional migrants from Africa redundant and unproductive in their destination countries.

Difficulty in accessing social services and government welfare programs

One of the severe problems experienced by international migrants from Africa and other developing countries of the world, is the difficulty they encounter in their attempt to access governmental social services and welfare programmes in their foreign destination. Because a significant number of Africans migrate illegally through surreptitious means [1,11], many do not possess the legal papers to enter the foreign country; and even when they do possess the legal means of entering that foreign country, they violate the constitutional and migration laws of the country-sometimes by overstaying or committing other crimes.

These factors put together make many African migrants unfit and unqualified to access the social services and welfare programmes provided by the government of their host country. Also, due to the long processes that are involved in attaining the status of a legal migrant, many African migrants are prevented or deprived of the opportunity to access governmental social services such as healthcare, children enrolment in school, food subsidies, monthly welfare stipend packages amongst others. Insight from the UNFPA, ILO and IMP [19] report on ‘Meeting the Challenges of Migration showed that, even in some countries, documented migrants cannot access governmental social services and welfare. Adepoju [1] sees the difficulty of African migrants in accessing social services as a cultural problem, discriminatory policies or practices in some host countries. The incapability or inability of many African migrants to access social services in many host countries, affect their life and this makes many of them unhealthy with multiple health challenges.

Vulnerable to harassment and social discrimination during economic and political crises

Many people who embark on international migration within and outside Africa, encounter the problem of social discrimination and harassment from the natives of that foreign country; during periods of economic or political crises. When there are crises especially during economic decline, migrants often times are the target of the natives. This is because, they are seen as those responsible for the natives’ loss of jobs, high rate of unemployment, poor wages by employers or the reason employers of labour prefer the cheap services of migrants to that of the natives. Excerpts from several studies have commented on the harassment individuals who embark on international migration from Africa faced. Yaro [5] emphasized that, discrimination against migrants is a reality in most countries, because indigenes feel threatened by the prosperity of the newly arrived migrants; who usually have one major aim of success in whatever endeavour they engage in. These discriminations against migrants often times result into greater crimes such as xenophobia, expulsion and mass killings of migrants. The United Nations Human Rights Commission cited in the UNFPA, ILO and IMP [19] report expressed its deep concerns and the manifestations of violence, racial discrimination, xenophobic and other forms of intolerance and degrading treatment natives in most destination countries perpetuate against migrants. Natives in most destination countries see migrants as part of the problems when economic or political problems erupts. Within Africa, cases of xenophobic attack in South Africa against citizens of other countries from Africa was witnessed in 2015 with the killing of many Nigerians. There have also been cases of mass expulsion of migrants from other African countries by natives of other African countries when there were economic decline or political crises. Yaro [5] gave a breakdown of the mass expulsion of Africans by other Africa countries as follows: Senegal expelled Guineans in 1967, Ivory Coast expelled about 16,000 Beninoise in 1964; Sierra-Leone, and later Guinea and Ivory Coast expelled Ghanaian fishermen in 1968. Earlier on, Ivory Coast had expelled over 1,000 Benin and Togo nationals in 1958. In the early months of 1979, Togolese farmers were expelled from Ghana and Ivory Coast. Ghana expelled about 500,000 Nigeria, Niger and Upper Volta citizens without valid residence permit in 1969. Adepoju [11] also gave the data on the expulsions of Ghanaians and citizens of other Africa countries from Nigeria between 1983 to 1985 to be more than 500,000. Some of these examples and cases highlighted above-some of which may seem as retaliatory expulsionexplains the harassment and social discrimination migrants suffer in other countries when there are economic or political crises [20].

Conclusion and Recommendations

From the discussion above it is evident that, migration is a veritable means for individuals to escape or be out of poverty as many reviewed examples above have shown. However, migration hold some negative consequences for the migrants which are usually not visible to the individual migrant when preparing to migrate. For sending and receiving countries, migration has some positive impacts such as employment creation, improving economic development, availability of cheap labour, availability of human resource personnel amongst others. Thus, if migration is properly managed, it could savage the situations of poor people and poor country. But if not, it could have dire consequences for both the migrants and sending countries. In light of these, it is recommended that:

• Sending countries should ascertain the quantity of their skilled professionals they are ready to loss to other countries.

• Individual migrants should ascertain and acquire the right information about their prospective destination countries so that they would not end up being in situations worse than they were before they migrated.

• International migrants from Africa should ascertain the rate and level of immigrant integration in their desired destination country before taking the decision to migrate; so that they would not to be socially, culturally and economically alienated in the destination country.

• Young internal migrants should calculate the cost of living their place of birth and the cost of settling down in their desired destination before taking the decision to migrate.

• Married individuals should evaluate what they stand to gain from migration and see if the closeness they have with their family members is worth losing.

• Finally, migrants who are considering migrating illegally should calculate the gains and losses they stand to face in their destination country, as many would end up in prisons, living in refugee camp or deported.

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