Senegalese migration and migrants in Europe a historical overview

Seydou Touré, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar

This paper seeks to examine the evolution of the Senegalese Migration and Migrants in Europe, from the 1960s to 2002. Migration and migrants’ intentions as regards their places of departures and destination varied over time. Among the three sources of migrations existing in Senegal in the second half of the twentieth century, the mid valley of Senegal River, that stretches along the country’s northern frontier, more or less from Podor to Bakel, remained, up to the beginning of the twentieth century, the most significant. Emigration is more recent in the central and the north-western regions; it focuses at the present time on the western regions. It developed with the peanut crisis aggravated by the droughts of the 1980s which stopped the seasonal pël firdu migrations from south east region (Kolda) to the groundnut basin. However, this phenomenon markedly intensified with effect from 1945, because of the development of processing industries in the Region of Dakar. Thus, these major population displacements also have historical causes. The fact that there are no significant statistical series on migrations constitute a handicap for a good quality study on the trends of migratory movements, after the Second World War. It brings up the issue of incompleteness of the data and information produced on migrations from this period. Notwithstanding these difficulties, the migration trends which emerge from the different studies and surveys conducted at the national level, and particularly on the valley, from this period give an idea of the magnitude of this phenomenon in Senegal, especially in its northern part. As a result, the collected data will serve to identify the indications of trends of migrants according to their places of departures and destination from the 1960s. They might help grasp the quality of the Senegalese Migration and Migrants in Europe over this period.

Presented in Poster Session 3