Episode 5: Between Risk and Reward: Migration to the Middle East from East Africa and the Horn

Labour migration to the Middle East from East Africa and the Horn has grown considerably in recent years. In numerical terms, it exceeds Europe-bound movements but does not receive anything like the degree of attention or interest from policymakers. The real and potential rewards of this emergent migration system - for migrants, sending, and receiving societies are considerable. However,  the risks, in terms of abuse and exploitation, are also very high.

A wide-ranging discussion featuring Caroline Njuki (ILO) and leading researchers Ayla Bonfiglio and Dome Okuku Jagalo, this episode of Curated Conversations analyzes existing efforts to improve the working conditions of East African workers in the Middle East. It also presents a number of urgent recommendations for policymakers in Africa and Europe.     

Speaker Bios

Dr Ayla Bonfiglio is Head of the Mixed Migration Center Eastern and Southern Africa, Egypt and Yemen. From 2029-22 she was Head of MMC’s North Africa Hub. For 15 years, she has worked on issues of forced migration and mobility.  

Caroline Njuki considers herself a global citizen and has worked on policy and programming on mobility and employment in East Africa and the Horn of Africa with various international organizations. She is currently Chief Technical Advisor for the ILO in Kenya (but speaks here in a personal capacity).

Dome Okuku Jagalo is a data scientist and migration researcher for Equidem Consulting. He has conducted extensive research on migration from East Africa to the Middle East. 

This episode is part of the series:

Exploring the Politics of Migration through Ideas is a podcast series that examines the past, present, and possible futures of migration within and from the African continent. It seeks to forge a new discussion around African migration in Europe and the West, but also within Africa itself: one that foregrounds African knowledge, lived experience, and political thought towards a humane and socially just order of mobility. Hosted by African Arguments and the Heinrich Boll Foundation’s African Migration Hub.