Paper $30.95 ISBN: 9781783602339 Published August 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783602346 Published August 2015 For sale in North and South America only

Africa's Return Migrants

The New Developers?

Edited by Lisa Åkesson and Maria Eriksson Baaz

Africa's Return Migrants

Edited by Lisa Åkesson and Maria Eriksson Baaz

Distributed for Zed Books

192 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Paper $30.95 ISBN: 9781783602339 Published August 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783602346 Published August 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Like many migrants, a large percentage of Africans who reside abroad cherish hopes of one day returning to their homeland, whether permanently or on a temporary basis. In the eyes of policy makers, such returnees are portrayed as “agents of development,” people who will bring back skills and economic capital that can be deployed in their native lands.

The reality, however, is more complicated, and Africa’s Return Migrants brings together a roster of stellar contributors to explore the gap between policy assumptions and lived reality. Built around extensive fieldwork, the book demonstrates that capital obtained abroad is not always advantageous—and that in fact it can sometimes even hamper entrepreneurship, economic, political, and social engagement. An eye-opening analysis, Africa’s Return Migrants will be essential for anyone concerned with the economic and social future of Africa.
1. Introduction - Lisa Åkesson and Maria Eriksson Baaz
2. Successive Flops and Occasional Feats: Development contributions and thorny social navigation among Congolese return migrants - Maria Eriksson Baaz
3. Diaspora Returnees to Somaliland: Heroes of development or job-stealing scoundrels? - Laura Hammond
4. Pushing Development: A case study of highly skilled male return migration to Ghana - Nauja Kleist
5. ‘Come back, invest, and advance the country.’ Policy myths and migrant realities of return and development in Senegal - Giulia Sinatti
6. The Role of Social Capital in Post-conflict Business Development: Perspectives from returning migrants in Burundi -Tove Heggli Sagmo
7. Threatening Mini-skirts: Returnee South Sudanese adolescent girls and social change - Katarzyna Grabska
8. Obstacles and Openings: Returnees and small-scale business in Cape Verde - Lisa Åkesson
Review Quotes
Jørgen Carling, Peace Research Institute Oslo
“Can Africans who return from the diaspora play the role of development agents? Are they willing to? And would it be welcomed by the Africans who never left? The seven authors tackle such questions with a combination of ethnographic nuance and political critique. A refreshing contribution to debates on migration and development!”

Neil Carrier, University of Oxford
“Much recent policy discourse hails return migrants as 'agents of development' while neglecting the experiences of those very migrants. This astute volume provides a powerful corrective, challenging received wisdom through empirically-rich case studies of return migrants and the challenges they face.”
Neil Carrier, University of Oxford
Richard Black, SOAS, University of London
“This excellent book turns the spotlight on returnees in Africa, who—whether they are businessmen, development agents, or indeed children—have profound impacts on their home countries.”
Ben Page, University College London
“These case studies from a wide range of African countries provide invaluable comparative evidence of the diverse experiences and complex meanings hidden behind the apparently simple idea of 'return'.”
Claire Mercer, London School of Economics and Political Science
“This engaging and timely book provides an important intervention into debates about diaspora and development. A must-read for students of African development, migration and diaspora studies.”
Aderanti Adepoju, Network of Migration Research on Africa

“Policies seeking to court return migration, their reintegration, and their constructive engagement in the development of home communities will find the incisive research findings of this book highly pragmatic."

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