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Migration Aspirations: Strategies of Young Africans in a State of ‘Involuntary Immobility’

Location: Institute for European Studies, Pleinlaan 5, 1050 Brussels
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Migration, irregular low-skilled emigration from developing countries in particular, has attracted a lot of academic and political attention. In many low and middle-income countries, migration is a prominent and sought-after prospect. However, the vast majority of would-be migrants never leave (involuntarily immobile) leading to a stark mismatch between the global demand for migration opportunities and the restrictive immigration policies of the desired destination countries. This mismatch appears set to grow in the coming decades, with swelling youth cohorts in Africa, especially, and strong anti-immigrant political currents in much of the Global North. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork in West Africa, this presentation explores the strategies that young people, who find it increasingly difficult to migrate to the West, employ to fulfil their aspirations of social and economic advancement. These aspirations are shaped by intervening social, cultural and religious obligations and expectations.


Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, University of The Gambia (UTG), Senior Lecturer of Political Science, Head of the Political Science Department and Director of the MSc in International Relations and Diplomacy.

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Florian Trauner, Research Professor and a Jean Monnet Chair at the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.


Registration and venue

The event is open to the public and free of charge. Due to space limitations, please register via the following form.