Nigerian refugees returning from Republic of Niger at a transit camp in Yobe, Nigeria | Photo: EPA/STR
Nigerian refugees returning from Republic of Niger at a transit camp in Yobe, Nigeria | Photo: EPA/STR

The number of migrants who had moved from one African country to another nearly doubled between 2008 and 2017 – from 13.3 million to 25.4 million people, according to a new report.

West Africa, east Africa and southern Africa accounted for the largest movements of migrant workers on the continent, with young people in west Africa being the most likely to migrate in search of work.

This information comes from the latest Report on Labor Migration Statistics in Africa, which was jointly produced by the African Union Commission, the UN migration agency IOM, the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The report was published on September 29.

Migration increased more than population

According to the report, the number of migrants in Africa has increased significantly compared to the overall population.

Between 2008 and 2017, the number of migrants on the continent grew by 7.5 percent per year on average.

Meanwhile, the overall population increased by just 2.8 percent per year on average (from 944 million in 2008 to 1.2 billion in 2017).

This means that roughly 2.1 percent of Africa's population were migrants in 2017 (up from 1.4 percent in 2008).

Increase in remittances

The report also found that there was a significant increase in remittances in recent years. Remittances refers to money or goods that migrants send to their families back home.

According to the paper, African migrants sent US$ 75.7 billion back home in 2017, compared to US$ 56.8 billion in 2010. This includes both money from migrants still in Africa and money from Africans living and working on other continents.

 

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