GovInn Working Paper 01/2019: The futures of rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa: A literature review and exploratory essay

GovInn researcher Dr Robin Bourgeois has contributed the first working paper of 2019 to the GovInn Working Papers series, titled “The futures of rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa: A literature review and exploratory essay”.

In a context where 200 million more people are expected to live in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) alone by 2050, the question of the futures of SSA rural migration is of crucial importance in a region which so far as remained essentially rural, in spite of a growing urbanization process. The first aim of this paper is to undertake a comprehensive review of the literature on the futures of rural migration in SSA. Drawing from 37 studies it provides a picture of anticipated drivers and migration patterns. It shows also that to our knowledge, rural migration in SSA is still largely an underexplored field of research. The second aim of this paper is therefore to provide some more insights about this question developing an essay drawing from general knowledge about population flows and specific scenario work connecting alternative global world orders and plausible scenarios of rural transformation into three alternative narratives about rural migration in SSA. This anticipatory work, with no predictive intention, provides some elements of thought regarding future migration patterns and briefly discuss governance-related implications.


To read the full working paper, download the document here.

The DOI for this paper is

Sara Mercandalli at the International seminar on Public policies and rural development- Colombia.

During the international seminar « Public policies and rural development in LAC : balance and perspectives » held in  CIAT, Cali , Colombia on 5-7 September 2018, GovInn Senior Researcher Sara Mercandalli coordinated a panel on « rural migration and development » and had the opportunity to share her experience about the ‘dynamics and drivers of rural migration  in SSA : highlights for public policies” she has been involved with different govinners, UWC and FAO. This international seminar organised by the « Public policies and rural development network », Cirad Partnership platform in Latin America, was also a space to better get along with contents and functioning of such platform, similar to GovInn, dedicated to the study of policies and governance processes.

Members of « Public policies and rural development network », at the international seminar « Public policies and rural development in LAC : balance and perspectives » Colombia 5-7 septiembre 2018.