Return migration to Dakar : do policies meet migrant’s needs?

Marie-Laurence Flahaux, Université catholique de Louvain
Lama Kabbanji, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

This paper combines quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate assumptions underlying return migration programs in Senegal. More specifically, the objective is first, to study the sociodemographic characteristics of return migrants to Dakar and the determinants and motives of return migration. Secondly, we explore the reinsertion of return migrants to Dakar. Finally, we examine the coherence between return migration and reinsertion programs and the sociodemographic characteristics and determinants of returns and reinsertion to Dakar. The quantitative data for this study comes from the MAFE survey (Migration between Africa and Europe) implemented in 2008, which collected data both at household and individual level at origin (Senegal). Life-histories were also collected in European destination countries (France, Spain, and Italy). The qualitative analysis is based on semi-structured interviews conducted in the region of Dakar during spring and autumn 2009, with institutional actors and return migrants, beneficiaries and non beneficiaries of return programs. The first part examines the profile and reintegration experiences of return migrants in the region of Dakar through quantitative and qualitative analysis. The second part of the study identifies key hypotheses and objectives underlying return and reinsertion programs through a qualitative analysis. This will allow us to contrast the policy objectives and perceptions as formulated in the return and reinsertion programs as well as in the institutional discourse on migration with the profile and reintegration experiences of return migrants in the region of Dakar. This study contributes to the better understanding of return migration in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. It also gives incites for the assessment of programs and policies put in place to enhance return migration.

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Presented in Session 77: Brain drain and return migration