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Contested Mobility Norms in Africa: Launch of report of the study

Titelblatt Contested Mobility Norms
© Heinrich Böll Stiftung

Commisioned and funded by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Franzisca Zanker and Amanda Bisong, policy officer at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM), conducted a study to offer a differentiated understanding of migration and mobility on the African continent.

Open a European newspaper and you will find anti-migration policies, rhetoric and fear-mongering within the headlines and articles. As right-leaning political parties gain votes across Europe, the public space for considering migration as a fundamental right, a form of humane protection and a frequently positive contribution to society is diminishing. The report looks at one of Europe's closest neighbours, an area that European policy-makers have increasingly targeted: Africa. 

Cooperation between the EU and African countries serves to externalize Europe's external borders. As current examples such as the agreement between the EU and Egypt or the UK's scandalous Rwanda agreement show, European migration policy tends to focus on security aspects and the prevention of mobility. But what are the interests of African governments, non-governmental organizations and national populations? What mobility norms exist and what significance do they have from an African perspective? 

Franzisca Zanker and Amanda Bisong found that in the African context, the norm of freedom of movement and human rights are highly valued, while the protection of national borders plays a subordinate role. These and other results were presented and discussed with stakeholders from politics and policy advice on April 19, 2024. 

The report of the study is freely available on the website of the Heinrich Böll Foundation

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