Webinar: The age of intra-African migration. A synthesis

To attend, please register via email

Organised by Economic and Environmental History

Thu 12 November 2020 11:00 to 13:00



This chapter synthesizes the remarkable diversity of African migration patterns that have emerged, transformed and disappeared since the early 19th century, and which are explored in depth in this volume. We argue that the retreat of Africans from intercontinental migration systems during the “age of mass migration” (1850-1940) was inextricably connected with an accelerated succession of overlapping migration patterns within the African continent, culminating into what we call the  “age of intra-African migration”. Shifting patterns of African migration intertwined with profound transitions in the demographic, economic and political fabric of African societies, as well as with changing global economic and political relations. We argue that dichotomous models of ‘traditional’ versus ‘modern’ migration, or ‘forced’ versus ‘free’ migration are unhelpful to interpret these changes in African migration. We introduce the terms ‘proximate’ and ‘deep’ drivers of migration to disentangle forces that are endogenous to local migration flows and systems from the fundamental societal transitions that initiate long-term shifts in migration patterns at the continental level. Finally, we argue that the migration scholarship can benefit from a historical perspective as it challenges various theoretical notions on the migration-development relationship.

Register at office.rhi@wur.nl