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This new Thematic Research Note for the International Food Policy Research Institute 'The development potential of migration: The status quo, lessons from other regions, and implications for research' is co-authored by Hein de Haas.

Migration may be triggered by one or more factors including economic issues such as relative economic stagnation or decline, environmental fluctuations that would include climate change and negative changes in weather conditions, political volatility, and social concerns for example, conflicts and other forms of social instability.

This issue of the Thematic Research Notes discusses the causes and impact of migration among communities in Africa as well as predicted future migration trends. Historically, economic and social factors, in particular, differences in GDP growth and armed conflict, have had the greatest impact on migratory flows (Naudé). The role of environmental factors, such as anomalies in temperature and rainfalls, and how they affect the land and subsequent decisions to migrate from rural areas to urban centers and across national borders, is examined.

The findings presented in this issue include some surprises: Net migration from Africa, excluding North Africa, has been the lowest among all developing regions and has not changed since 2005; economic improvement and increased political stability are likely to further slowdown and perhaps even reverse migration, turning Africa into a net destination; most future environment induced migration is likely to be intra-African between coastal and inland countries, with flows in both direction, driven by regional differences.

This Thematic Research Note is available online through the International Food Policy Research Institute.