Today’s migration from Africa has its roots in decades of policies which have impoverished rural economies and dispossessed small-scale producers to make room for export-oriented monocultures. The EU is reacting through measures denounced by European civil society organizations. Its long-term recipe for ‘addressing the root causes of migration’ involves using EU cooperation funds to leverage resources from private investors ‘looking for new investment opportunities in emerging markets’, thereby promoting the same model of agricultural production and global value chains that has sparked today’s migration waves. An absent voice in the debate is that of the rural organizations in the territories from which the migrants originate. This paper seeks to reframe the issues from the viewpoint of these social constituencies, to trace the evolutions that have transformed a portion of rural mobility into Europe-bound irregular migration, and to highlight initiatives that build options of dignified and remunerative rural livelihoods for young people.
Read the article ‘Getting to the root causes of migration’ in West Africa – whose history, framing and agency counts? (16 p., 400 Ko)