This event is hosted by The Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI), the Centre for Global Migration Studies (CeMig) at the University of Göttingen, the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana, the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA) and the Nordic Africa Institute .
Join MIDEQ colleagues Professor Joseph Teye, Dr Mary Setrana and Professor Heaven Crawley at the online lecture series, Critical Reflections on Afro-European Relations in Migration Governance. Registration is now open.
Professor Teye's keynote speech will focus on migration narratives from Africa. More details on the keynote speech can be found below:
Migration Narratives From Africa
While it is widely acknowledged that public perceptions of human mobility tend to shape migration governance, there is little understanding of the effects of competing narratives on migration governance in Africa. This presentation will demonstrate that although divergent migration narratives are championed by different stakeholders, programmes adopted by African countries are based on the perspectives of political elite and international development partners, although these perspectives are sometimes not supported by empirical evidence. While poverty is often portrayed as the main driver of migration from Africa, cultural factors, social transformation, and the perceived high quality of life abroad also contribute to migration. Although early views on emigration portrayed it as a threat to socio-economic development, recent narratives have recognized the potential of emigration to contribute to socio-economic transformation. On the other hand, while immigration of vulnerable groups is seen as a development challenge, there are efforts to harness immigration of highly skilled migrants for socio-economic development.
Professor Crawley's keynote speech will explore African migration and the politics of representation in Europe. More details can be found below:
African migration and the politics of representation in Europe
It is impossible to understand European perceptions of African migration without first reflecting on the ways in which ‘Africa’ is constituted in the European imagination and the role of the media in this process. The media, in all its increasingly diverse forms, both reflects and reinforces unequal power relations through images and discourses which socially construct and categorise people and places. This, in turn, opens up possibilities and justifications for certain types of policy interventions - including in relation to the migration of Africans to Europe. Drawing in particular on representations of migration before, during and after the so-called European ‘migration crisis’ of 2015-16, Heaven Crawley suggests that the most significant metaphor utilised in the framing of contemporary Africa is that of ‘the Dark Continent’ (Jarosz 1992) through which ‘Africa’ is ‘flattened out’ and homogenised. Whilst the arrival of African ‘boat people’ has served as a ‘focusing event’ for European policy makers, politicians and the public (Ryan 2008), these representations are nothing new but rather have their roots in stories and narrative forms that have evolved since colonisation.