With the “migration crisis” of 2015, the number of policy initiatives
to try and stem departures from countries of origin multiplied and aid to African countries became increasingly conditional upon cooperation on migration matters (Schofberger, 2019). The EU-Africa Valletta Summit and the creation of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa identified West Africa as one of the prime regions of focus for projects that found themselves on the so-called migration-development-security nexus.
Mali was one of the West African priority countries due a high number of Malian arrivals in Europe as well as because of its strategic position on key migration routes northward. While finding itself under external pressure to stem departures was nothing new for the country (Saadiyo, 2020), the scale at which projects were implemented increased considerably, especially in regions that had longstanding traditions of long-distance migration such as the southern region of Kayes and Sikasso. A variety of projects were implemented that sought to create livelihood opportunities for residents and returning migrants, using a logic that assumed that creating such opportunities would lower people’s aspirations to leave.
This study examines the approach put forward by these projects and investigates to what extent migration aspirations are influenced by development assistance. It focuses on Malian residents and returning migrants from the region of Kayes, as well as on migrants in transit in Bamako and the northern city of Gao. Research findings are based on 586 quantitative interviews and 60 qualitative interviews.
Author(s): Claes, Johannes, Anna Schmauder and Fransje Molenaar
Publisher or Journal: AdMiGov
Year of Publication: 2021
Document Type: Report