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Migration Management in West Africa within the context of ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the Common Approach on Migration: Challenges and Prospects

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West Africa has experienced various types of migration caused by demographic pressure, poverty, poor economic performances and endemic conflicts. Historically, migrants regarded the sub‐region as an economic space within which trade in goods and services flowed, and people moved freely (Adepoju, 2003). In order to comprehend contemporary migration systems, and current policies in the sub‐region, section one of this document places the migration configuration in its proper historical context. It also describes the major patterns and changing configurations of migration in the sub‐region. This review of the situation will feed debate on the early beginnings of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and efforts to create a borderless sub‐region. This review will draw on lessons from the formulation and implementation of migration policies in order to identify the challenges for West Africa to manage migration. In the conclusion some proposals are set out for the ECOWAS Common Approach on Migration regarding future perspectives based on co‐ordination and optimisation of mobility. 
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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