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This paper maps out the current state of international migration in East and Horn of Africa. It attempts to outline how migration is researched and the latest dynamic of migration is changing with respect to the feminization of migration, diversification of migration destinations, transformation of labor flows into commercial migration, and brain drain from the region. The paper further highlights that the traditional pattern of migration within and from the region— male-dominated, long-term, and long-distance — is increasingly becoming feminized. Anecdotal evidence reveals a striking increase in migration by women, who had traditionally remained at home while men moved around in search of paid work. A significant share of these women is made up of migrants who move independently to fulfill their own economic needs; they are not simply joining a husband or other family members. Attempts are also done to map out the migration flows and routes within and across the region by presenting examples of influx of migrants from various parts of the sub-Saharan region, including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda to North Africa such as Libya, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco that reportedly served as transit routes for migrants to Europe. It give also attention to the migration of skilled East and Horn of Africans through brain circulation within the region. It disclosed that skilled professionals, pressured by instable political and economic conditions, have found other African countries specially the southern African countries such as Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa as convenient destinations for migration. The paper argues that most migration studies has so far focused on brain drain, remittance and trafficking mainly from international political economic view. The paper attempts to analytically review existing studies and reflect how the understanding of ‘wellbeing’ can offer a new perspective on how both the process and the outcome of migration experience may have different meanings for individual migrants, migrant families or even communities/ countries of migrants in different transactions. It further highlights that meanings and values are changing with migration experiences and, in turn, shape the identities and wellbeing of individual migrants.

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Conference paper


International Migration Institute

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