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New research explores how migration fosters growth in Africa

In recent years there’s been significant growth in African economies driven by trade in commodities, which has prompted more migrants to move to, and within, African countries.  Now, new research from The Open University will investigate what impact this migration has had both on growth in Africa and in the migrants’ countries of origin, and the findings could help policymakers foster further growth in the continent.

Migrants make important contributions to growth


Giles Mohan

Professor Giles Mohan, Chair in International Development, leads the project which has been awarded £706,706 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It will focus on Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, looking at sectors including manufacturing, IT and services. Professor Mohan says:

“This is the first multi-country comparative study of contemporary migrant communities in Africa that uses the concept of inclusive growth.  The growth in a number of African economies has led to an increased migration of people to these economies and industries; though the outcomes for more inclusive development are unclear.

“We believe that migrant communities have the potential to make important contributions to sustainable and inclusive growth, not only in their countries of origin but also in the African countries where they settle, but we do not yet have the data or research to help us understand this and build on it.”

About the project

The project, Inclusive Societies: Migration for Inclusive African Growth, will take place over two and a half years, starting in September 2018.

The project is funded through the ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund New Models of Sustainable Development initiative, and brings together an international team of researchers from The Open University, Network for Migration Research on Africa based in Nigeria, The Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana, the African Migration and Development Policy Centre in Kenya, and The Centre for Policy Analysis at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique.

Find out more

Watch a video about Professor Giles Mohan’s 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Research at The Open University Award

Read more about OU research in International Development and Inclusive Innovation


About Author

Kath works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is a skilled communicator with more than 15 years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors. She has a BA (Hons) English and American Literature from University of Warwick and specialises in stories from the Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, BBC programmes, and student stories. In her spare time Kath enjoys touring the country in her hand-painted camper van, Trevor.

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