Migration and Population in West Africa: Political Issues and Perspectives

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Until very recently, the issue of population/development in West Africa was approached almost exclusively in terms of rapid population growth, which is considered critical to the economic and social development of countries in the region. Paradoxically, the spatial dimension of population growth was consequently overlooked, even though it is known that such growth is accompanied by an increasingly unbalanced geographical redistribution of the population, which is also linked to the size of migratory movements. The recent adoption by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) of a Common Approach on Migration demonstrates the importance that now needs to be placed on such movements and their effects on the geographical distribution of the region's population. What are the dynamics of West African migration and what is the logic behind them? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Common Approach on Migration management?

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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