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The Security-Migration-Development Nexus in the Sahel: A Reality Check


Policymakers and experts have increasingly emphasized the nexus between migration, security and development in the Sahel, one of the world’s poorest regions. Contrary to conventional wisdom, higher levels of economic and human development do not result automatically in a reduction of migratory flows – sometimes the opposite is the case. Similarly, it would be wise to nuance the view that armed conflicts automatically provoke huge migration flows. Policy frameworks sponsored and designed by foreign actors in the region, such as the European Union and the United States, seem to understand the need for a multi-layered approach but are sometimes stretched to meet inconsistent political demands. There is an urgent need for coherent, more evidence-based and less fear-based policy-making, along with local co-ownership in the implementation of policies, if further harmful effects of migration are to be avoided.

Paper produced in the framework of a project entitled “The Security-Migration-Development Nexus Revised: A Perspective from the Sahel”, August 2017. Presented at the international conference "The security-migration-development nexus revised: a perspective from the Sahel", Addis Ababa, 11 December 2017. Published in the volume The Security–Migration–Development Nexus Revised: A Perspective from the Sahel (Rome, FEPS and IAI, 2017).

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