Changing patterns of Congolese Migration
Bruno Schoumaker, Marie-Laurence Flahaux
DR Congo is one of the most populated countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and the largest French-speaking African country. It is also currently one of the poorest countries in the World: in 2011, it ranked last (187) on the Human Development Index (UNDP, 2011). Since its independence, it has gone through numerous political and economic crises. These crises are thought to have profoundly affected migrations (Sumata, 2002). Yet, although it is possible to draw a broad picture of Congolese migration, many of its characteristics and changes over time are still largely unknown. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the changing patterns of Congolese migration using quantitative MAFE data. In the first section, a review of the literature provides background information on the recent political and economic changes in DR Congo, as well as on changes in migrations. Next, we use MAFE data collected in Kinshasa (capital city of DR Congo) and in two European destination countries (Belgium and the UK) to document the changing patterns of migration from the DR Congo since the mid-1970s. In the third section, we focus on strategiesand routes of migrations to Europe.