The tenth Policy and Comparative Development Studies Seminar Series was held on 24 March 2022. The seminar was presented by Mr. Pascal Agbadi with the topic of ‘Socioeconomic Position, Social Transformation, and Migration Aspirations in Africa’.
More people would like to relocate to another country if they had the opportunity. Around the world, 14% of people want to move. Approximately 33% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa alone wishes to migrate. The desire to relocate to another country is referred to as migration aspiration. According to some scholars, statements about wanting to leave a country serve to convey dissatisfaction with the society's socioeconomic conditions in many contexts. Many of the published studies focused on the relationship between individual level characteristics (age, gender, education, etc.) and migration aspirations, while ignoring the societal level factors that drive this phenomenon. Many of these studies were conducted in places other than Africa. Traditional migration theories (neoclassical and political economy approaches) emphasize economic conditions over several other factors that have been shown to be responsible for cross-border migration in order to explain what societal level factors may drive migration. The current study seeks to use the social transformation framework to explain why more than a third of Africans want to migrate in order to account for other possible societal factors that may drive migration. From the perspective of the social transformation framework, economic, political, demographic, technological, and cultural factors all play a role in explaining why people want to migrate. In addition, the research will look at how social transformation indicators influence the relationship between individual socioeconomic status and migration aspirations in Africa. The study will use this framework to show how economic and non-economic factors interact to explain migration aspirations in Africa.