Migration has been an integral part of labour markets and livelihoods across much of the African continent for at least the last century. Over time, and in different places, it has taken a number of different forms. It has included internal, regional and international movements. It has cut across class and skill boundaries, and exists in widely different demographic contexts.
Migration represents an important livelihood strategy for poor households seeking to diversify their sources of income, but is also characteristic of the better off, and indeed of many African elites.
This paper reports on the findings of a survey conducted by the Sussex Centre for Migration Research on migration and pro-poor policy in Africa. The survey covered existing literature, and discussions with DFID country offices across the continent, and was conducted in early 2004. The paper is complemented by three separate papers, on West, East and Southern Africa, which are published separately by the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, and together by the Department for International Development.