n Conflict Trends - Impact of African refugees on development : why the silence on their contribution?

Volume 2002, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818



Although refugees have been the dominant group in African international migration, they feature less prominently than the brain drain in Africa's development strategies, giving the impression that the latter, an aspect of voluntary movement, has decisive implications for national and regional development. If there is anything Africa has generated to its advantage in the polarised world, it is the increasing size of its refugee population. It is difficult to distinguish between refugees who move en masse and often settle in camps, and asylum seekers who are generally considered on their own merits after being interviewed. The majority of the latter consists of political asylum seekers, among them those who have spent many years away from home at great cost to the host countries. Without attempting to make the distinction, we use the generic term "refugee", conscious of the fact that among them are those who specifically apply for asylum.

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