Irregular Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa: Causes and Consequences of Young Adult Migration from Southern Ethiopia to South Africa

Teshome D. Kanko, Wolaita Sodo University
Charles H. Teller, George Washington University and Addis Ababa University

This study investigates the socioeconomic and demographic causes and consequences of irregular youth migration from southern Ethiopia to South Africa. A survey was carried out in February 2010 on 658 adults. Data are gathered from four randomly selected districts and then households from southern Ethiopia. The migration is dominated by single males aged 20 to 34, many being first born children. Age, residence and employment have a significant positive association with outmigration, while sex, marital status, education, residence and birth order have negative association. Household size and ethnicity are insignificant. Nearly half of the respondents perceive the main cause for migration as better opportunities in South Africa and only 8% of them claimed poverty. The movement is facilitated by a network of smugglers in Ethiopia working in cooperation with smugglers from Kenya and Somalia. Return migrants are better off now, but many of the smuggled migrants faced harsh conditions.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment