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South-South Migration and Human Development: Reflections on African Experiences


  • Oliver Bakewell

    () (Oxford University's International Migration Institute (IMI))


This paper looks at the relationship between migration between developing countries – or countries of the global ‘South’ – and processes of human development. The paper offers a critical analysis of the concept of South-South migration and draws attention to four fundamental problems. The paper then gives a broad overview of the changing patterns of migration in developing regions, with a particular focus on mobility within the African continent. It outlines some of the economic, social and political drivers of migration within poor regions, noting that these are also drivers of migration in the rest of the world. It also highlights the role of the state in influencing people’s movements and the outcomes of migration. The paper highlights the distinctive contribution that migration within developing regions makes to human development in terms of income, human capital and broader processes of social and political change. The paper concludes that the analysis of migration in poorer regions of the world and its relationship with human development requires much more data than is currently available.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Bakewell, 2009. "South-South Migration and Human Development: Reflections on African Experiences," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-07, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-07

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Isabel Ortiz & Matthew Cummins, 2012. "L’Inégalité Mondiale: La Répartition des Revenus dans 141 Pays," Working papers 1103, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    2. Bakewell Oliver, 2009. "Migration, Diasporas and Development: Some Critical Perspectives," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(6), pages 787-802, December.
    3. Van Hear, Nicholas & Brubaker, Rebecca & Bessa, Thais, 2009. "Managing mobility for human development: the growing salience of mixed migration," MPRA Paper 19202, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Migration; South-South migration; Africa; Human development;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration


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