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Since the earliest contacts with Europeans, Americans, Indians and Arabic Africans have been exposed to a permanent mobility. It can be said that they have never experienced sedentary living. Studies have demonstrated that in the past migration in Southern Africa is above all linked with trade and labour migration and the brutality of colonialism, which made peoples flee from the colonial system. If in the past mobility benefited the colonial states through slavery, a cheap labour force and deferred payments, it now seems that migration is still playing the some role through the loss of skills during or after professional training to the benefit of hosting countries. Among Southern African countries the Republic of South Africa has become a hosting country of both skilled and unskilled labour from all over the sub-Saharan countries, including Asia. In the meantime, South Africa is also a victim of emigration of home-trained skills. It is an intricate issue. To make things worse, the data of migrants is not only out of date but there is a lack of an accurate data base. So what can be done? The objective of this paper is to discuss the evolution of international migration in the Southern African region. This includes studies done by the Southern African Migration Project in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

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Conference paper


International Migration Institute

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