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Migration and Urbanization in Francophone West Africa: A review of the recent empirical evidence

  • Beauchemin, Cris
  • Bocquier, Philippe

How does migration contribute to the urbanisation process in Africa? Migrants have traditionally been viewed as responsible for excessive urban growth, for the uncontrolled expansion of urban areas and for urban surplus labour. In light of recent research, this article proposes to re-examine these views in Francophone west Africa. The first part of the article presents the context of urbanisation in this region, the theoretical framework and the recent surveys on which most of the analyses are based. Next, adopting a demographic perspective, the paper shows that migration in fact contributes moderately to urban growth and that new trends in urban to rural migration flows are emerging. The focus then shifts to examine how migrants influence the shape of cities. The final section of this article re-examines the role of migrants in the urban economy.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/4536.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Publication status: Published in Urban Studies, 2004, Vol. 41, no. 11. pp. 2245-2272.Length: 27 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/4536
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