Migration, Development and Poverty



Migration, Development and Poverty Reduction in the Southern African Development Community

Funder: IDRC



The Pattern of migration in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region has undergone a major transformation since 1990. Every country in the region has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people crossing borders, with majority of migrants mainly engaging in migration as a livelihood strategy. This project will contribute to the implementation of the African Union's Migration Policy Framework and Common Position on Migration and Development. It indicates the importance of migration and development to the continental agenda and provides a critical Africa centric benchmark on strategies to maximize the developmental potential of international migration. Within SADC, the central role of migration in regional integration, poverty reduction and social and economic development is also being recognized. Undocumented migration has seen a dramatic increase from unstable countries like Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to South Africa and Botswana, and xenophobia in these countries against foreigners is on the rise. Because of political instability, forced migration has generated a massive population flow. In countries like Angola and Mozambique, post conflict returnees and their reintegration challenge the ability of these countries to overcome a legacy of civil war. The project will focus on four themes identified in the African Union (AU) Common Position: (i) migration, poverty and development links; (ii) peace, security and migration integration; and (iv) migration and diaspora engagement. This project is an initiative of the Southern African Migration Project (SAMP), which is an international network of organizations founded in 1996 to promote awareness of migration-development linkages.


The general objective of this project is to advance the development and poverty alleviation potential of migration in the Southern African region through rigorous and reliable research that builds research and networking capacity, meets the priority areas of the African Common Position on Migration and Development, and impacts on ongoing policy implementation processes around both migration and development.

Its specific objectives are to:

1. enhance the evidence base on the links between migration and development at the national and regional scale within SADC and internationally and to examine the implications for both national and regional immigration and development policy;

2. facilitate the development and implementation of policies that promote the strategic goals of the AU Strategic Framework on Migration and the AU Common Position on Migration and Development;

3. consolidate a regional network of African researchers working in the area of migration and development;

4. development a framework for facilitating the engagement of the SADC diaspora in Canada in development activity in Southern Africa.

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