Home Research and Papers FAO launches the first atlas on rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa

FAO launches the first atlas on rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa

FAO Atlas on Migration. Source: FAO

A first atlas to offer a better understanding of complex rural migration patterns in sub-Saharan Africa was launched November 2nd 2017.

The new FAO atlas Rural Africa in motion. Dynamics and drivers of migration south of the Sahara highlights the important role that rural areas will continue to play in shaping the continent’s migration for decades to come.

The publication is the result of a partnership between the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO), with technical support from the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) in South Africa.

Through a series of maps and in depth case studies, the 20 authors of the atlas, representing different research institutions, think tanks and international organizations from and outside Africa, explore the complexity of the interrelated causes that drive people in Africa to leave their homes. They shed light on regional migration dynamics and perspectives, and foster understanding of rural migration.

The atlas stems from the need for new analytical tools to improve our understanding of Africa’s migration. In the face of climate change and unprecedented population growth, the atlas does not only provide a stimulating overview on rural migration, it can also help shape more coordinated and coherent actions to address migration.

The future of migration

While the complexity of interrelated factors driving migration makes it impossible to exactly predict migration dynamics in the future, the atlas draws attention to crucial variables – such as size of rural population; location and occurrence of extreme weather events; poverty and hunger levels; job opportunities; quality of governance – to identify possible migration scenarios for the future.

The publication notes that managing the future of migration should involve: safe, orderly and regular migration channels; the development of sustainable large cities; a stronger investment in intermediary cities and and in local farming systems able to cope with climatic hazards and to provide employment; and the development of smaller rural habitats with provision of quality services.

It highlights that the decision of a rural person to migrate should not be dictated by survival or search for a decent life, but inspired by an aspiration for new experiences. For that to happen, it is necessary to invest in agriculture and rural development and to adopt a territorial perspective, fostering rural-urban linkages that will help to transform Africa’s rural areas into “safe havens” offering a better life.

For more information on the ATLAS PAGE, Click here

For Further reading, Click here