Manifest socio-economic differences are a trigger for internal migration in many sub-Saharan settings including Kenya. An interplay of the social, political and economic factors often lead to internal migration. Internal migration potentially has significant consequences on an individual’s economic growth and on access to health services, however, there has been little research on these dynamics. In Kenya, where regional differentials in population growth and poverty reduction continue to be priorities in the post MDG development agenda, understanding the relationships between contraceptive use and internal migration is highly relevant.
This working paper draws from results from the Migrating Out of Poverty study in Kenya focusing on out-migration from western Kenya to Kenya’s urban areas. Rural-urban migration dates back to the colonial period and remains a reflection of regional inequality, as migrants try to move out of their poorer origins to destinations with promising economic opportunities. Out-migration in Western Kenya, mainly from the Siaya and Vihiga counties, is directed towards the regional city of Kisumu and the national capital of Nairobi city, which for long has been the country’s primate city. Underdevelopment in western Kenya and the desired lifestyle of the cities drive both rural-urban migration and rural-rural migration to the county’s economic hubs that rely on commercial agriculture. Siaya and Vihiga are two contrasting counties. Siaya has vast landscapes wallowing in poverty due to subsistence agriculture whereas Vihiga is unsuitable for agriculture because of large boulders occupying much of the cultivable land. Using mixed qualitative methodology consisting of key informant interviews, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, the study found that although Kisumu is closer to the region of origin than Nairobi, the latter has the greater attraction. The migrants fare much better in urban destinations where they maintain strong contacts with their origins, to where they send remittances for relatives left behind. At the end of a migratory life, the vast majority of migrants expect to return to their homes to try and lead better lives than non-migrant folk, and to develop their communities as well as their counties of origin. The findings of the study corroborate findings of previous studies in Kenya that underscore the contribution of rural- urban migration to poverty reduction.
This working paper draws from results from the Migrating Out of Poverty study in Ethiopia explores the relationships between poverty and rural-urban migration in Ethiopia. It draws upon research particularly of migration for work in the construction industry and domestic work. The paper describes and analyses migration from a poor rural woreda (district) in northern Ethiopia, to the nearby city of Bahir Dar and the capital, Addis Ababa. Extreme poverty is one of the main driving factors behind these flows of migration. Our research suggests that migration of this type does not lead to immediate flows of remittance income from migrants to their households. We explain why this is, and how migrants and their households nevertheless plan to move out of poverty. We argue that there are important non- economic factors and long-term strategies that encourage migration even where working conditions are hard and returns are low.
This paper analyses the changing perspectives of internal migration in Eastern Africa, hereby delineated as the region encompassing the traditional East Africa and the Horn of Africa. It relies on literature survey of published work and analysis of data over the last five decades. Internal migration perspectives have been changing as voluntary migration continued alongside forced and irregular internal migration in virtually all the countries of the region, precipitating diverse consequences for development in areas both of origin and destination. This paper is expected to chart future research to inform national policies and programmes on internal migration in Eastern Africa.
This journal article within the Regions and Cohesion (2013, Vol.3: Issue 3) traces the evolution of regional integration in East Africa, discussing its nature, scope, triumphs, and challenges. It reviews the Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community Common Market (PEEACCM), which develops aspects of free movement policy that were implicit in earlier editions of the EAC regional integration. The article then addresses the several challenges that exist to free movement in the EAC as it endeavors to usher in the larger Southern and East Africa COMESA–EAC–SADC Tripartite Agreement and even wider continental-level coordination. It concludes that a managed migration policy rather than free movement might be more appropriate.
There are intricate linkages between migration, urbanisation and health challenges which research and studies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have scarcely underpinned. Rural-urban migration has been partly responsible for urbanisation, to which natural increase of population and reclassification of formerly rural territory also contribute, all of them creating health challenges for migrants from different regions of a country or immigrants from other countries; on the other hand, urban-rural migration, in particular return migration on retirement, on loss of the head of household or due to unemployment or ill- health also poses health challenges for returnees. Successful resolution of health challenges depends on the health infrastructure, provision of health services, capacity of the health personnel to cope and that of both rural and urban localities to meet them. This paper begins by shedding light on the dominant types of internal migration in SSA, and in particular rural- urban migration as reported in previous national censuses; thereafter, it analyses urbanisation in the region, comparing the phenomenon in the four sub-regions of SSA; and finally, it examines health challenges especially in urban areas where communicable diseases are rampant and from which urbanites move back to their rural origins once they reach the terminal stage of ill-health. In the discussion, the paper interrogates the policies being adopted to handle migration-urbanisation-health inter-linkages rather than concentrating on anyone of the three thereby only partially solving the puzzle. The paper is of immense importance for SSA governments in their efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which relate to these three phenomena: rural poverty which triggers rural-urban migration, in the process leading to translocation of rural population to urban areas; urbanisation which creates an environment for creating employment opportunities and thus alleviating poverty; and the concentration of health challenges such as the three scourges (HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria) which threaten urban lifestyles. Moreover, it raises issues which should attract multi-disciplinary research on the three issues that are largely discipline-free.
This chapter examines whether or not the African Diaspora and their remittances do leverage development in African countries. Given the diversity of the African region, the chapter presents selected evidence of both the remittance flows and tries to examine their impact in the recipient households, communities and home countries. A closer reading of the literature on the African Diaspora and migrant remittance flows suggests that the two resources dominate journal articles from the perspective of their sources but say little on their impact at the receiving end. Not surprisingly, the verdict of such literature is shaky and fails to underpin the impact of the two resources in African settings. In trying to unravel the impact of Diaspora and remittances on poverty alleviation, the chapter defines and explains the diversity of the African Diaspora; proceeds to consider the sources, volume and value of migrant and diaspora’s remittances; attempts to unpack the unknown quantum, namely the contribution of the Diaspora in homeland development as well as the utilisation of the remittances sent, with particular focus on poverty alleviation; and, finally, analyses whether the Diaspora and their remittances leverage poverty reduction in African countries. The chapter concludes that the current fragmentary evidence of the impact of Diaspora and remittances on poverty reduction in African countries precludes a conclusive verdict and that the subject requires more empirical evidence particularly in the recipient countries.