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New grant to research how migration aids growth in Africa

Shutterstock-580932937 Young African woodworker

The Open University has been awarded £706,706 by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to explore how migration is contributing to growth in Africa.

The project, Inclusive Societies: Migration for Inclusive African Growth, led by Professor Giles Mohan, Chair in International Development, will look at migration to and within Africa, exploring the part this plays in more sustainable and inclusive growth on the continent, and enabling policymakers and practitioners to use this knowledge for further growth.

Professor Giles Mohan said: “This is the first multi-country comparative study of contemporary migrant communities in Africa that uses the concept of inclusive growth. It builds on a previous ESRC-funded network grant that enabled us to build a really strong network of migration researchers with national, continental and international expertise and policy reach, through which we hope to benefit Africa’s future growth”

The project will particularly focus on the contribution of migrant communities in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, looking at sectors including manufacturing, IT and services.

Professor Mohan added: “There has been significant growth of a number of African economies over the last few years, stimulated largely by trade in commodities, and this growth 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.

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.

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

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

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