Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 March 2010

Senegal Shifts from Country of Destination to One of Transit and Professional Emigration, IOM Migration Profile Finds





Senegal Shifts from Country of Destination to One of Transit and Professional Emigration, IOM Migration Profile Finds



DAKAR, Sénégal, March 23, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Press Briefing Notes

Senegal, historically considered mainly as a country of destination in the West African region, has now also become a country of emigration due to increasingly difficult living conditions at home and the successful migration experience of earlier Senegalese emigrants to most developed African countries, as well as to Europe and the United States.

Immigration, though less significant, still exists but has become essentially transit migration. Indeed, because of its geographical position, emigration candidates, particularly from West Africa, transit through Senegal as they head further north to Maghreb countries, or to travel by sea or air to Europe.

According to the United Nations Population Division, the net rate of migration, in other words the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving the country per year per 1,000 inhabitants, registered a negative trend during the 1995-2005 period. The estimates for 2005-2010 seem to confirm this tendency, with a net emigration rate of 1.7 migrant per 1,000 inhabitants.

According to data available, the stock of Senegalese emigrants is estimated at 479,515. The key destination countries are the Gambia (20%), France (18%), Italy (10%), Mauritania (8%),Germany (5%) and Ghana (5%).

Data shows that the vast majority of all emigrants were of working age, and that close to 68 per cent of emigrants moved abroad in search of a better or new job. This was particularly the case for skilled workers, who represented 24.1 per cent of the emigrant stock abroad.

Additionally, the research points to a “brain drain” phenomenon affecting Senegal, with 17.7 per cent of those receiving higher education emigrating, largely to France. This phenomenon is especially prevalent amongst medical professionals.

As for remittances sent by Senegalese abroad, they have increased from USD 233 million in 2000 to 1,192 billion in 2007, which represents 10,7 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

As a result, individual poverty in Senegal declined from 67 per cent in 1995 to 50.6 per cent in 2005; however 66 per cent of households surveyed consider themselves poor.

This may be seen in the context of an ever greater number of Senegalese emigrating and related income disparities seen as a result of remittances. A 60 per cent disparity in income was reported between those households that receive remittances from abroad and those that do not.

The IOM Migration profile of Senegal, which is funded by the European Union, the Belgian Development Cooperation and the Swiss Federal Office for Migration, underlines the fact that Senegal has neither a formal migration policy nor a structure dedicated to the migration issue for determining and implementing the national migration policy.

Similarly, the report notes that the management of migration is entrusted to various ministries and development actors, carrying out individual actions defined by their respective mandates, which can lead to confusion.   

However, the report acknowledges that the Senegalese Government has made efforts on several fronts towards managing migration flows, from bi-lateral agreements with France, Italy and Spain to initiatives promoting employment for youth and for women.
The report notes that the Government of Senegal also seeks to incorporate migration in development plans through current initiatives such as job promotion involving emigrants in the development of communities; improved labour management and the establishment of an effective system for managing and monitoring the Senegalese population living abroad.

The Government of Senegal is working with national and international partners to implement programmes developing and capitalizing on the skills of Senegalese emigrants abroad. These are, the Migration for Development in Africa programme (MIDA-Senegal), in partnership with IOM; the Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) project, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme; and the Co-development Initiative (by the Senegalese President’s Office).


International Office of Migration (IOM)


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