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Sahel and West African Club Secretariat,November 2006. The socio economic and regional context of West African migrations. FOREWORD 5,INTRODUCTION 7,I THE DEMOGRAPHIC CONTEXT 8. 1 1 THE STRONGEST DEMOGRAPHIC DYNAMICS IN HISTORY 8. 1 2 A REGION EXPERIENCING RAPID URBAN DEVELOPMENT 9. 1 3 A YOUNG POPULATION 9, 1 4 THE STAKES OF THE AGEING POPULATION IN MOST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES 10. II SOME RETROSPECTIVE SOCIO ECONOMIC ELEMENTS 11,2 1 AN EVOLVING REGION 11. 2 1 1 Some progress in regard to health and education 12. 2 1 2 Economic growth and employment the pre eminence of the informal sector and. development of the private sector 12, 2 1 3 Agricultural transformation in a growing domestic market 13.
2 1 4 Integration into the global market and the need to act regionally 14. 2 2 THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS BY 2015 15,III THE REGIONAL DYNAMICS 16. 3 1 SEVERAL PERCEPTIONS OF REGIONAL DYNAMICS 16,3 1 1 Economic basins 16. 3 1 2 Four ecological zones 17,3 1 3 Three economic sectors 17. 3 1 4 Three trade regions 18, 3 2 REGIONAL MOBILITY AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES 18. 3 3 THE REGIONAL MIGRATION PROCESS 19, 3 4 THE ENTIRE WEST AFRICAN REGION AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD 21.
ANNEX 6 OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE TABLE 34,ANNEX 7 PRIVATE FINANCIAL FLOWS TABLE 35. Over the last few decades the Sahel and West Africa Club has been working on issues such as food security. agricultural development the private sector governance and peace urban development local economies the. integration of national economies into the global economy and the challenges of regional integration. Within all of these areas the work that we are undertaking and the dialogue that we are initiating with our West. African partners carry two important messages The first message is that West African societies are making. progress although significant sometimes serious problems remain The second message is that this. progress is hidden by the challenge of numbers If we do not take into account the fact that the population. has increased three fold over the last four decades we cannot perceive the importance of the results obtained. regarding health education and production, The big question which summarises all the others is how to encourage sustainable development at the local. national and regional levels which will respond to the needs of a rapidly expanding and mobile population At. a time when the migration issue is at the centre of Europe Africa dialogue it seems important to recall that a. certain relationship exists between the progress recorded over the last decades and the mobility of the. populations within the West African region West Africans are six times more mobile within their region than. Europeans are Furthermore currently 56 of the West African population is under 20 years of age 66 are. under 25 years of age as compared to 12 and 15 respectively in Europe There has been incredible. progress in education the number of literate adults has doubled every ten years since 1970 Young girls are. increasingly benefiting from this evolution they are progressively improving their status within society their. demand on development is legitimately ever more substantial Youth and mobility are normal signs of a. society undergoing demographic change, How can this youth be helped How can this mobility be supported We believe that these two questions. should be at the centre of debates responses should be geared towards investment the valorization of. agricultural zones with strong development potential and reception town planning rural urban development. business facilities promotion of trade and development of an open regional market yet safeguarded from the. brutal impacts of integration into the global market. Women s associations youth associations locally elected officials West African agricultural producers with. whom we maintain constant dialogue regret that the migration issue is often reduced to the issue of irregular. migration flows towards Europe and remittances of migrants They fear that the tension around this issue will. have negative implications on free circulation within their region They hope and pray for more ambitious and. more coherent trade and development policies in order to build the West African region The Economic. Community of West African States ECOWAS and its member States have the same fears and the same. For some time now the dramatic images of clandestine migrants have put West Africa at the forefront It is the. responsibility of the Sahel and West Africa Club along with its partners to recall that the migratory stakes of. the region cannot be summarized by these images Hence this will be one of our priority issues in the years to. Normand Lauzon Laurent Bossard,Director Head of Unit. Sahel and West Africa Club Local Development and the Process of Regional Integration. Sahel and West Africa Club,INTRODUCTION, At a time when migration is at the centre of dialogue on development in sub Saharan Africa the Sahel and.
West Africa Club SWAC proposes to examine migration in the wider global context of social economic and. regional developments in West Africa 1, The debate concerning migratory flows is indeed important the SWAC and ECOWAS have contributed to this. debate through the publication of a chapter on migration for the Atlas on Regional Integration in West Africa. However we believe that it is important to include the structural elements of the West African landscape. specifically its demography the evolution of the major social and economic indicators regional dynamics and. challenges that characterise it, For many years the work carried out by the Sahel and West Africa Club part of which is summarised here. has led us to propose an ambivalent perception of the region s course On one hand it is obvious that in a. large number of sectors including health and education but also agriculture and governance West Africa and. its development partners have made remarkable efforts which have resulted in significant improvements On. the other hand however the region is plagued by the challenge of numbers Indeed the proportion of. immunised and school enrolled children has sharply increased over the past decades but at the same time. the number of children has increased three fold whereas in other developing regions it has only doubled As a. result many per capita calculated indicators have not significantly improved from what they were in the past. Therefore while performance and dynamics must be recognised it is important to remember that West African. inhabitants are among the most underprivileged in the world and will probably remain so for another generation. unless the resources available for development are greatly and rapidly increased every year at least 7 per. year according to the African Development Bank ADB at the same pace as population growth. High demographic growth also leads to the re composition of settlements of which migration is a result West. Africa is in the process of populating as much as it is developing A region relatively empty after independence. West Africa has gradually developed island settlements which are today are connected to each other to form. a large group within which trade and movement are increasing. During the many forums organised by the SWAC West Africans ministers civil servants farmers mayors. entrepreneurs men women young or old have always insisted upon the innate character of West African. regionality There is no doubt that a Malian feels at home in Burkina Faso or that a resident of Kano feels at. home in Maradi The fact that official regional integration policies have not yielded expected results should not. hide the reality as experienced and felt by West Africans This of course has major implications when we refer. to migration, This document is divided into four chapters The first sets out a review of the demographic context in West. Africa The second chapter deals with some retrospective socio economic elements of the region The third. chapter describes the regional dynamics in West Africa and the fourth suggests a number of strategic. questions and courses for action, 1 The region covered by the Sahel and West Africa Club as referred to in this paper includes 18 countries the 15 ECOWAS member. countries plus Mauritania Chad and Cameroon,I THE DEMOGRAPHIC CONTEXT.
The components of this chapter are mainly derived from SWAC ECOWAS work carried out within the framework of. the Atlas on Regional Integration in West Africa2 Also refer to Annex 1 of this document. 1 1 The strongest demographic dynamics in history,Figure 1 Population Growth and Urbanisation. Total population million,The population of Africa south. 320 Urban population million of the Sahara and of West. A nnual grow th urban population,Africa in particular stagnated. A nnual grow th total population until the end of the 19th. 240 22 8 6 century while most of the,other continents were. experiencing sharp population,growth The population.
112 started increasing significantly,only at the beginning of the. 20th century with the,improvement of health and,medical conditions It was then. 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000,that the population boom,really began Since this time. Source WDI 2004 World Bank the West African population. rate has increased nearly 3, per year from a population of 40 million in 1930 to 290 million in 2005 according to the United Nations This dynamic. is likely to continue the regional population is expected to reach 430 million people by 2020 and go beyond half a. billion by 2040 4, Africa is today a continent that is becoming quickly overcrowded and at an accelerated pace Saying that.
such a phenomenon necessarily has significant consequences good or bad on the state of Africa today and. that there will certainly be consequences on the Africa of tomorrow is not stating a particularly brilliant idea. But how can we understand anything about the present and the future of the continent without first considering. this overcrowding 5, The average United Nations projections indicate that Niger s population could reach 50 million in 2050 compared to. 12 million in 2004 Mali and Burkina Faso a population of 40 million compared to 13 million in 2004 and C te d Ivoire. could reach 34 million compared to 18 million in 2004 Is such population expansion humanly and economically. possible What are the implications of this prospect in regards to the mobility and migration needs of these. populations, 2 Atlas on Regional Integration in West Africa Demography chapter D Ouedraogo SWAC ECOWAS 2006 to be published. 3 Roland Pourtier clarifies Human history has never seen such an increase in population on such a huge continental scale And it is. going to continue for a long time Nowhere has the expression population explosion been more appropriate Afriques noires. 4 These are only projections None of the many specialised institutions working in this sector can provide a definitive number All. agree that there will be approximately 430 million inhabitants in West Africa by about 2020 or perhaps 2022 or 2025 or even before. It is possible for example that the next population survey of Nigeria will correct what many demographers believe to be the under. estimation of the population during the last survey of 1991. 5 Giri J 1986 L Afrique en panne 25 ans de d veloppement Paris Karthala. 1 2 A region experiencing rapid urban development, West African cities have absorbed two thirds of the population growth registered between 1960 and 1990 Today they. host 45 of the population6 This urban growth essentially and initially occurred due to population movements from. rural areas This is no longer the case population growth in cities is now mainly due to the increasing birth rate in. urban areas which accounts for 70 to 80 of this growth with the rural exodus only representing 20 to 30 of urban. growth Urban growth is no longer as rapid as it was in the 1970s and 1980s but it will continue and the urban. population is likely to account for about 60 of the total population by 2020 2025. The evolution of the farming7 to non Figure 2 Population growth across regions. farming8 population ratio can be,added to the evolution of the rural to 3. urban population ratio According to,the FAO the West African farming.
population has decreased from 80,of the total population in 1961 to 51. in 2001 Today in 2006 the non 1,farming population has thus become. probably the largest group 0,1961 1971 1981 1991 2001. Urban growth has not been West Africa South Asia, accompanied by the depopulation of Latin America Caribbean East Asia Pacific. European Monetary Union,the rural areas where the population.
Source WDI 2004 World Bank,has continued and will continue to. increase according to all forecasts The word rural exodus which ac. At a time when migration is at the centre of dialogue on development in sub Saharan Africa the Sahel and West Africa Club SWAC proposes to examine migration in the wider global context of social economic and regional developments in West Africa 1

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