The parallel but disharmonious processes of globalization and regionalization, which at present are shaping world politics, cannot be duly considered without taking into account the perspective of human migrations. Despite the advent of digitalization and automation, intra-state, intracontinental and intercontinental movements of people will remain among the principal factors of global socio-political and economic dynamic in forthcoming decades. Correspondingly, interest in migration research has been and will keep expanding as the policy implications grow more complex.
The Centre for Sociological and Political Sciences Studies of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences held the conference “Africa in the Global Migration Flow: History and Modernity”. The scope of the conference covered such migration-related topics as immigration policies, discrimination of migrants, diaspora, forced migration, economic development, integration and labour migration.
A particular focus of the participants was made on the dilemma that many countries receiving African migrants are facing: on the one hand, recipient countries need to attract both high and low skilled individuals to fill labour deficit and reduce costs, thereby increasing competitiveness of their industries; on the other, the population growth induced by migration puts additional pressure on social fabric, which leads to increases in public discontent and xenophobia. At the same time, donor nations seek ways to benefit from having expatriates in more developed countries not only through inward remittances, but also through enlisting their capital and expertise for the purposes of domestic development. In this regard, African diasporas may be viewed not only as contributors to international economic and cultural relations, but also as agents for national development.
Most participants agreed that migration processes will present both major opportunities and threats for political and economic development of the continent, which need to be regulated through the enhancement of corresponding government policies.
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