Trends in Contemporary International Migration of Ethiopia

Main Article Content

Fikadu Tolossa Ayanie
Dagnachew T. Melese
Eyayew T. Beze
Tihtina A. Fanta

Abstract

Ethiopia is found in the ‘Eastern Africa migration system’ known for turbulent population mobility due to a host of social, economic, and political factors. The migration problem of East Africa, in which, a substantial exploration of the complexity and intensity of the migration pattern of Ethiopia has become necessary in the context of social transformation and development processes. To this end, this study is designed to provide migratory change and developmental patterns of international migration of Ethiopia in regional and sub-regional perspectives based on long-term macro statistics. The data obtained from the Reports of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs and World Bank’s Development Indicators have been used to describe, analyze and explain long-term patterns of international migration of Ethiopia within the regional contexts. Results show the trend that Ethiopia experienced a continuous increase in its international migrant stock in the last five decades, from less than 400,000 in 1960 to over 1 million in 2015. Refugees and transit migrants constituted the largest number of immigrants, mostly from the neighboring countries, driven by continuous conflicts and political instability. Ethiopia, once dominant in refugee flows in the Horn of Africa due to political conflict, famine, and persecution, experienced a sharp decline in the share of refugees in the Horn of Africa in the last three decades. Economic motives have recently become the prime factors in migration decisions among the Ethiopians as observed with the fact that the USA and the Middle East are the major destinations. The findings revealed that Ethiopian emigration is characterized by the inter-continental flows unlike the Sub-Saharan migration pattern known to have an intra-continental migratory link. Feminization of Ethiopian migration is also evident particularly in core destination countries of the Global North, which indicates the increasing role of females in migration decisions but also disproves the widely held perception about Ethiopians emigration to the Arab World as female-specific. In the final analysis, Ethiopia could be regarded rather as a destination, with over 1.2 million migrants, than as an origin, with just over 800,000 as of 2017, which now make the country a regional migration hub in the Horn of Africa.

Article Details

How to Cite
Fikadu Tolossa Ayanie, Dagnachew T. Melese, Eyayew T. Beze, & Tihtina A. Fanta. (2020). Trends in Contemporary International Migration of Ethiopia. PanAfrican Journal of Governance and Development (PJGD), 1(2), 30-60. https://doi.org/10.46404/panjogov.v1i2.2342
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Articles
Author Biographies

Fikadu Tolossa Ayanie, Jimma University, Ethiopia

Fikadu T. Ayanie is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Governance and Development Studies, Jimma University, Ethiopia. His research areas include Political Economy of Development, Social Justice and Poverty, Economic Growth and Development, Migration, Institutional Reform, Local Development and Governance, Business Internationalization, cyber politics, and digitalization of security.

Dagnachew T. Melese, Lawyer, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dagnachew Tefera Melese was a former Lecturer of Law at Debre Markos University and Jigjiga University. He has obtained his LLB from Hawassa University, Ethiopia, LLM from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and Joint European Masters in Comparative Local Development. Currently, he is working as an independent lawyer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His research areas include business law, labor law, human rights and democratization.

Eyayew T. Beze, Ruhr University, Germany

Eyayew Teka Beze is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at Ruhr Graduate School, Germany. He was a former Lecturer of Economics at Department of Economics, Jimma University, Ethiopia. His research areas include urban and regional economics, migration economics and housing market dynamics.

Tihtina A. Fanta, Unity University, Ethiopia

Tihtina Abebe Fanta was a former Lecturer of Agricultural Economics at Haramaya University, Ethiopia. She has obtained her BSc and MSc in Economics from Haramaya University, Ethiopia, and Joint European Masters in Comparative Local Development. She is currently serving as Lecturer at Unity University, Ethiopia. Her research areas include environmental governance and sustainability, agricultural productivity and rural food security, gender equality, women empowerment and migration.

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