Poverty reduction and social development

Workshop on Migration in West Africa: Governance and Links to Labour Markets. Dakar, 25 March 2010




25 March 2010
Dakar, Senegal
Pullman Dakar Teranga




List of participants


The objective of the workshop is to discuss migration issues in West Africa, focusing on the themes of governance of migration and the links between migration and labour markets. Based on research papers dealing with these issues in the region, the sessions aim to share experiences and perspectives in frank, engaged and critical dialogue among researchers and policy makers. This will lead towards a discussion of policy options for West African countries.


1. The Governance of Migration, Abla Safir

2. The Links between Migration and Labour Markets, Jason Gagnon

3. Rapport mondial sur le développement humain 2009 - Lever les barrières: Mobilité et développement humains, Tembo Rachid Maburuki


The one-day workshop will be structured around the following sessions:


Session 1 : Migration Governance in West Africa


The majority of West African migration is intra-regional. Certain countries, such as Ghana and Cape Vert, have received an increasing amount of immigrants over the last years, while irregular emigration towards Europe also seems to have increased. Whereas regional initiatives, for example on the level of ECOWAS, were taken for a better management of migration in the region, the implementation of such policies has been more difficult. Moreover, policies towards return migration remain limited and the possible mechanisms to facilitate circular migration need clarification. This session aims to examining existing policies in this field, the capacity of governments to implement them alone and in co-operation with other governments in the region.


The session will feature and discuss the following presentations:


1. La migration internationale de travail en Afrique de l’Ouest: état des lieux et défis majeurs – Papa Demba Fall (presentation) and (paper).


Other useful background papers from Papa Demba Fall: 

La dynamique migratoire ouest africaine entre ruptures et continuités

Etre étranger et migrant en Afrique au XXe siecle


2. Towards an Effective Governance and Management of Migration in ECOWAS region – Alice Afolayan (presentation).


Session 2: Links Between Emigration and Labour Markets in West Africa


A review of research on migration reveals two important gaps. The first relates to the impact of emigration on labour markets. While the impact of immigration on labour markets, especially in the North has received much attention, the impact of emigration on labour markets of sending countries has been little studied. The second gap relates to South-South migration, which has started to receive more attention only over the past few years. This session will highlight some of the mechanisms linking migration and labour markets, including through agricultural productivity.


The session will feature and discuss the following presentations:


1. Migration and Technical Efficiency in Cereal Production: Evidence from Burkina Faso
- Fleur Wouterse (presentation) and (paper)

2. Are There Returns to Migration Experience? An Empirical Analysis using Data on Return Migrants and Non-Migrants in West Africa – Flore Gubert (presentation) and (paper)

3. Discussion: Migration and labour markets - Abla Safir (presentation)


Session 3 – Policy Conclusions


This session will consist of a roundtable discussion lead by policy-makers sharing the lessons they have learned throughout the meeting. The panel will wrap-up the workshop and lead into a discussion with all participants.



Additional Information


For more information, please contact Jason Gagnon (jason.gagnon@oecd.org) or Amalia Johnsson (amalia.johnsson@oecd.org).




Funding for this project has been made possible by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.