Talk – Leaving and finding homes

on migration in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • 19:00 - 22:00 Uhr
  • 16.11.2017
  • Refugio

On a daily basis, across the world, people migrate, leaving their homes and settling and making homes in new societies, whether elsewhere in their own country, in neighbouring countries or in another continent.

On the November 16th, Oliver Bakewell and Guy Berger will share their insights on mobility in Sub-Sahara Africa. They will address the following questions: What are the main drivers of migration? How well prepared and well informed are migrants? How do migrants become members of the communities in which they settle?

Moderation: Olu Abimbola

The talk is organised and presented by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and MiCT (Media in Cooperation and Transition). The talk will be followed by drinks, Sudanese snacks and Somali tunes played by Sagal Farah.


When it comes to African migration, it is often assumed that people are pushed to move by factors such as poverty, political repression, and the lack of work and prospects, on the one hand, and on the other attracted to new places by positive ideas about better living conditions. Many studies have shown that this assumption of linear and additive interactions of push and pull factors cannot explain the complexities of actual migration-related decision processes.

Moreover, it is often forgotten that the vast majority of sub-Saharan African migrants move within the continent. Often these movements are unrecognised or resisted by states, but the people manage to find ways of establishing a place within new communities. In this process of movement and settlement, migration brings change to both origin and destination societies.

These African experiences illustrate how migration is part of an intrinsic process of social transformation in a globalized world.

Oliver Bakewell (Forging African Communities: mobility, integration and belonging) Senior Research Officer and Associate Professor

Oliver Bakewell is former Director of the International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford. His work focuses on the intersections between migration and mobility and broader processes of development and change, with a particular empirical focus on migration within Africa. He is the Research Co-ordinator on Migration and Development for the Research and Evidence Facility of the EU Trust Fund for Africa working in collaboration with SOAS and Sahan Research in Nairobi. Prior to joining IMI, he spent many years working with migrants and refugees both as a researcher and as a practitioner with a range of development and humanitarian NGOs. He holds a PhD and MSc in Development Studies from the University of Bath and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

Guy Berger
Director of Division Freedom of Expression and Media Development, UNESCO

Guy Berger is Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO. He is responsible for the Organization’s global work on press freedom, safety of journalists, internet freedom, media pluralism and independence, gender and media, media and information literacy, and journalism education. Before joining UNESCO, he headed the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. He has also worked in both press and television and had a long-running column on the The Mail & Guardian website. Besides that, Guy Berger was the deputy chair of the South African National Editor’s Forum. He holds a Doctorate in Philosophy, from Rhodes University, has published extensively, and has won several awards.