The Nordic Africa Institute

African mobilities

Links to information resources. NAI library staff compiled this to coincide with the Nordic Africa Days 2018 which took place in Uppsala, Sweden, 19-21 September 2018. The theme was African Mobilities – Reshaping narratives and practices of circulation and exchange.

Links updated in November 2019.


Mobilities have always been central to economic, social, cultural, and political formations across the African continent. In light of rising concerns over mass displacement and irregular migration towards the global North, the movement of people tends to be seen in an intellectually limiting and politically hostile manner.

The unequal distribution of social mobility continues to raise concerns relating to economic and political prospects for African polities. These different mobilities, moreover, combine and overlap in significant ways that are often neglected in public debates and policy initiatives.

By highlighting the multiplicity of mobilities that characterise contemporary Africa and the wider world today, as well as the social, cultural, economic and political anchorage of these movements in localised understandings and agendas, the theme African Mobilities encourages a holistic understanding of human movements as embedded in wider webs of circulation and exchange.

Text from the Call for Papers to the Nordic Africa Days 2018.

Selected publications

Africa Portal publications on migration External link, opens in new window. (years 2018-2019). Africa portal is a research repository and an expert analysis hub on African affairs — a cooperation between South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

KNOMAD publications on migration External link, opens in new window. (the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development)

Migration Policy Frameworks in Africa External link, opens in new window. / Tsion Tadesse Abebe, 2017

Rural Africa in motion / Dynamics and drivers of migration South of the Sahara External link, opens in new window. [pdf] / by Sara Mercandalli et al, 2017

World migration report 2020 External link, opens in new window. / International Organization for Migration

NAI library collection

Clicking on the links will bring you to our search tool AfricaLit Plus, where you can narrow down or expand your query. Print titles are usually available for loan within the Nordics, and quite a few titles are freely available online.

A broad, general search on mobility/migration/refugees:

Find titles on these themes from a 'mobilities viewpoint':

You may also want to try searching specifically with these keywords: Displaced persons, Forced migration, Immigrants, Internal migration, International migration, Labour migration, Migrant workers, Migrants, Migration, Migration policy, Migration statistics, Refugees, Resettlement, Return migration

Other online resources

The African Centre for Migration & Society

"[S]cholarly institution for research and teaching on human mobility dedicated to shaping global discourse on human mobility and social transformation." External link, opens in new window.


European Asylum Support Office and a few other actors manage this Country of Origin Information database, which is partly open to the public. External link, opens in new window.

The country of origin information system of the Austrian Red Cross (ACCORD), gathers, structures and processes publicly available country of origin information. External link, opens in new window.


The Enough Project focuses on five areas in Africa, Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan, Eastern Congo, Lord’s Resistance Army and Somalia. External link, opens in new window.


News and analysis from crises and hotspots all around the world. Special sections for Africa-related and migration-related topics. External link, opens in new window.

KNOMAD, the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development

Multidisciplinary knowledge partnership which draws on experts to create and synthesize knowledge for use by policy makers in sending, receiving and transit countries. Cooperates with the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and the U.N. agencies working on migration External link, opens in new window.


UNHCR's information system where they gather and structure country of origin information from different, reliable sources. External link, opens in new window.