The African immigration to the West is widely regarded as final. But there has recently been a significant return of migrants or children of migrants to their countries of origin.Driven by the financial and repeated political crises in the West, according to the media, more and more Africans make the decision to go to find new life prospects. But what is it really? Are these isolated cases or a new phenomenon?
To begin with, and according to several centers of research and statistics, the brain drain to the West and illegal immigration have never been more important than today.Africans continue to migrate en masse, as evidenced by the statistics agency for safety and the External Borders (Frontex), which show that the number of illegal immigrants in the European Union has almost tripled in 2014 (with sales estimated at 274,000 people in 2014 against 100,000 in 2013).
The brain drain either does not drop, quite the contrary. Just in the Maghreb, a study carried out between December 2014 and February 2015 showed an impressive increase in the number of migrant university graduates, which is estimated at 853,000 people. As for Morocco, approximately 397,000 graduates of higher education have moved abroad.
The illusion of the West
But what these statistics do not show is that 20% to 50% of immigrants leave within five years following their arrival or to a new country or to their country of origin. Some European countries, like France, do not include in their statistical outputs of some territory as return migration. Due to the absence of such a database, the factors that encourage return migration remain unclear.
However, a study by the National Institute of Demographic Studies entitled Migration between Africa and Europe tends to provide some answers and helps to understand the returns of migrants to Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo, two countries known by their economic and socio-political difference.
The study reveals “a downward trend in return migration especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). Returns largely spontaneous majority rather than forced or encouraged by destination country. Only 16% of Senegalese migrants and 15% of Congolese said they were returned following the difficulties encountered in Europe, including due to paper problems. The reintegration prospects in the country of origin play a major role in the return decisions. Moreover, restrictions on immigration by European countries tend to reduce the propensity for returning migrants. “
Ultimately, return orders are not a new phenomenon linked, as it says here and there, economic conditions or political environment. Factors influencing this are as diverse and varied.