Rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa: Patterns, drivers and relation to structural transformation

Mercandalli Sara, Losch Bruno, Belebema Michael N., Bélières Jean-François, Bourgeois Robin, Dinbabo Mulugeta F., Freguin-Gresh Sandrine, Mensah Clement, Nshimbi Christopher Changwe. 2019. Rural migration in sub-Saharan Africa: Patterns, drivers and relation to structural transformation. Rome : FAO-CIRAD, 86 p. (Rural employment working paper) ISBN 978-92-5-132110-2

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Abstract : Sub-Saharan Africa has a long history of internal and international migratory movements. Migration patterns and dynamics from, to and between rural areas are profoundly differentiated across regions, and flows have considerably evolved over time. Yet, more recently, rural migration takes place in the unique situation of a major rural and urban demographic increase, which results in critical socio-economic and environmental challenges. In this context, intertwined migration drivers emerge and call for a better understanding of on-going dynamics. This working paper draws on a combination of literature review and data analysis, building on the results of the Atlas "Rural Africa in motion. Dynamics and drivers of migration South of the Sahara". This mixed approach is used to propose a conceptual framework based on past, current and future drivers of migration, then to examine observed patterns of rural migration and finally to discuss drivers' characteristics and dynamics from case studies and existing datasets.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Migration, Migration urbaine, Population rurale, Dynamique des populations, Zone rurale

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Afrique au sud du Sahara

Mots-clés libres : Migrations rurales, Afrique sub-Saharienne, Migrations internationales, Systemes multilocalisés, Dynamique de population

Classification Agris : E51 - Rural population

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 5 (2019-) - Territoires

Editeurs scientifiques et affiliations

  • Mercandalli Sara, CIRAD-ES-UMR ART-DEV (FRA)
  • Losch Bruno, CIRAD-ES-UMR ART-DEV (ZAF)

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Belebema Michael N., University of the Western Cape (ZAF)
  • Bélières Jean-François, CIRAD-ES-UMR ART-DEV (MDG) ORCID: 0000-0002-8399-9045
  • Bourgeois Robin, CIRAD-ES-UMR ART-DEV (ZAF)
  • Dinbabo Mulugeta F., University of the Western Cape (ZAF)
  • Freguin-Gresh Sandrine, CIRAD-ES-UMR ART-DEV (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-2750-106X
  • Mensah Clement, University of the Western Cape (ZAF)
  • Nshimbi Christopher Changwe, University of Pretoria (ZAF)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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