Panel 25

Conflicts, Climate Change and Involuntary Mobility in Africa

Panel organiser: Anthony Kola-Olusanya, Inter-Campus and Public Relations, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria.


The number of emigrants from sub-Saharan Africa is said to have grown by 50% or more between 2010 and 2017 in contrast to the 17% worldwide average increase for the same period. Internally Displaced Persons in Africa due to conflicts increased from 10 million in 2009 to 12.4 million in 2015 and it is estimated that about one-third of refugees worldwide are African nationals most of whom live in Africa. The Conflicts, Climate Change and Involuntary Mobility in Africa Panel invite papers to analyze drivers of involuntary migration within and from Africa.  The Panel welcomes presentations that interrogate assumptions on types, causes, purposes and/or effects of forced migration in Africa and encourages alternative narratives on characteristics and incidents of forced migration in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Panel will examine the respective linkages of climate change and conflicts with forced migration. Climate change is having an undeniable impact on the environment in Africa. Among the emerging triggers for conflicts and/or forced migration are increasingly unsuitable land for agriculture, drying up of lakes across the continent and acute water shortages in inland Africa. The Panel welcomes papers on the interplay between climate change and livelihood options and on the role of migration as a sustainable adaptation strategy for climate change. Armed conflict is widely acknowledged as a major cause of involuntary migration. The Panel invites presentations on the role of internal inequalities and/or international inequalities on forced migration in Africa and seeks contributions on the interface of natural resource exploitation, conflicts and involuntary migration within and out of Africa.

Approved abstracts panel 25

1. Paradox of Mobility of Persons in Sub-Saharan African Economies

Authors: Bosede Akanbi, Department of Economics, College of Management and Social Sciences, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria & Anthony Kola-Olusanya Department of Science, Technology, Mathematics and Education, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria.

Africa is rich in natural resources and history, though, distribution of its people and resources do not coincide. Until recently, much of the impetus from migration comes from efforts to match people with resources and the need for sustenance growth. Recently, refugees and other displaced persons make the headlines in sub-Saharan African countries. There are in fact far more important longer-term mobility trends, within and outside the region that have significant macroeconomic implications on the economies of the affected countries. Existing studies showed that the patterns of migration within African region and the rest of the world have risen faster in recent decades. While mobility outside the region is mainly driven by economic reasons, conflicts and natural disasters are important determinants of voluntary mobility. These two factors explain the flows of refugees and internally displaced persons within the regions, however, little or no evidence exit on the extent to which these have impacted the economies of the affected countries. Thus, this study is set to carry out an empirical analysis on the impact of involuntary mobility of persons on the economies of affected sub-Saharan African countries. The paper sourced for secondary data from the databases of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS), United Nations Refugee Agency (UNCHR) and World Bank Development Indicators for six selected Sub-Saharan African economies to achieve the objectives of the study. The Levin, Lin, and Chu panel; Im, Pesaran, and Shin W-stat; ADF-Fisher Chi-square; and PP-Fisher Chi-square unit root tests were used to determine the stability of data before panel data analysis. In addition, Pedroni Cointegration analysis and Pooled Ordinary Least Square technique (POOLED OLS) were employed to examine the long run and causal relationship between voluntary and involuntary mobility of persons and the some macroeconomic variables in selected sub-Saharan African economies. The study showed that involuntary migration has had serious implication on the economies of the selected countries in terms of economic growth, poverty, government expenditure and unemployment. Appropriate recommendations were made.

Keywords: Involuntary mobility, conflicts, natural disaster, sub-Saharan Africa, economic development

2. Climate Change, Water Availability And Livelihood Diversity Of Arable Crop Farmers In Nigeria

Authors: Kehinde, A. L., Alao, T. O., Busari, A. O., Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, College of Agriculture, Ejigbo Campus, Osun State University, Nigeria & R. Oyaromade, Department of Economics, College of Management and Social Sciences, Okuku Campus, Osun State Univerity, Nigeria.

Nigerian agriculture is largely weather dependent and food production is substantially in the hands of peasant farmers. While resources to mitigate climate impact seem not to be available to African countries due to the scale of funds required. Studies have shown that the option of  adaptation appears more appropriate at the farm level. Of the important variables responsible for climate change,  temperature is not under the control of farmers while water availability can be responded to by providing alternative water sources to augment water from rains and survive water shortage. It could also be further infered that in the absence of resources to provide alternative water sources, farmers will be constrained to leave agriculture either wholly or partially for other livelihood activities to improve household income and welfare. It is in this light that this case study examines the interplay amongst climate change, water availability and livlihood options available to arable crop farmers in Nigeria. The study undertook a cross-sectional survey of arable crop farmers in Nigeria. Of the three (3) broad agro - ecological zones namely; the Northern Sudan savanna, Guinea Savanna and the Southern Rain Forest the sampling process involved an initial selection of 2 agroecological zones. Consequently, two (2) states Osun and Niger states were purposively selected from the the guinea savanna and the southern rain forest, respectively. The study utilized the multi-stage sampling method to select representative samples of two hundred (200) arable crop farmers from the 2 states making a total of 400 farmers. The field survey took place between December 2014 and Feburary 2015. Information was collected on farmers’ socio-economic, environmental, economic, cultural, institutional and variables. The data were subjected to both descriptive and inferential analyses. The results so far show interesting relationships amongst the variable of interest. Relevant policy recommendations will be suggested.

Keywords: Climate change, agriculture, farming households and cross-sectional survey.

3. Involuntary mobility and access to land in Somalia: legal pluralism faces new challenges

Author: Roberta De Simini, University of Florence, Italy.

Since the end of Siad Barre regime, Somalia has witnessed massive forced migrations and a high degree of involuntary mobility, with almost 2 million people which are internally displaced and more than 800000 refugees in neighbouring countries. The main causes of human mobility in Somalia include both man-made conflicts, due to the ongoing civil war that has lasted over two decades, and natural disasters, worsened by the exacerbation of climatic conditions with severe droughts and flash floods. In this context, the presence of both returnees from neighbouring countries and IDPs has increased the competition for access to land and to key natural resources.

The paper investigates the implications of forced migration and internal mobility in Somalia in terms of increasing conflicts over access to land and natural resources, in the perspective of the impact on the structure of the legal pluralism on which the Somali society is based. The study tries to highlight how the resolution of the conflicts linked to the appropriation of lands by warlords and/or businesspeople and those between IDPs, host communities and returnees claiming their lands puts indeed the traditional legal framework in a new context, with a pressure towards a revision of its main assumptions.

Customary law, Shariah law and the formal legal system are once again called to interact in different forms to address conflicts, and it is important to understand the current forms of such interaction to avoid the increase of instability and tensions.

4. The complex roles of natural resources in shaping flows of capital, goods, skills, labor and other migrants

Author: Olugbemi Jaiyebo, Department of Business and Private Law, Osun State University, Ifetedo, Nigeria.

The frequency, sheer magnitude and cross-border implications of conflict-induced or forced migration make it topical. The total number of IDPs in Africa due to conflicts increased from 10 million in 2009 to 12.4 million in 2015 and it is estimated that about one-third of refugees worldwide are African nationals, most of whom live in Africa. State fragility and governance failures, youth unemployment, pull and push factors, border issues, small arms proliferation and environmental issues are commonly identified causes of conflicts and forced migration on the continent.

The Academy Awards nominated movie ‘Blood Diamonds’ galvanized international attention to diamond as a funding mechanism for the wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It jump-started The Kimberly Process but shortly afterwards business resumed beneath global radars. In 2002 a UN Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts investigated the extent to which investment in the extractive industries fueled the DRC war and alleged that 85 companies (American, European and South African corporations) were involved in illegal business activities. In September 2003 the International Criminal Court Prosecutor announced that crimes taking place in the DRC would only stop when illegal business activities ceased.

This paper identifies corporate activity in the extractive industry as a trigger of conflicts and argues that corporate interests in critical raw materials aggravate migration in Africa. It connects the outflow of critical raw materials, inflow of arms and ammunitions to the outflow of people from conflict zones. We examine The Kimberly Process, the EU Law on Responsible Mineral Sourcing, the US Dodd-Frank Act (Section 502) and conclude that prosecution of corporations for crimes against humanity is the most viable means of ending illegal trading of critical raw materials in conflict zones and of stemming the tides of this strand of conflict-induced migration in Africa.

5. Climate Change As A Source Of Conflict And Migration: The Case Of Herdsmen-Farmers Conflict And It's Effects On Interurban Migration In Nigeria

Author: Oyosoro Felix Idongesit, Department of International Relations/Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution, Obong University, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

Climate change is hardly considered as one of the causal phenomenons of conflict in Nigeria. However, Violent conflicts between nomadic herders from northern Nigeria and sedentary agrarian communities in the northern, central and southern zones in the past 36 months has proven that alongside tribalism, religious intolerance, ressource control, land disputes and trade related disputes; climate change has become a major source of conflict and insecurity in Nigeria. This is due to the lack of internal mitigation and resilience policies (which have led to expansive desertification, drought and unchecked deforestation in Northern Nigeria) and external factors (the shrinking of the Lake Chad Basin). In consequence, about 10.5 million people have been displaced and the herders are forced to seek more grazing pastures southwards which in turn creates tensions, conflicts and its corollaries. This paper seeks to demonstrate that climate change induced-displacement is a determinant of conflict and a major treat to security in Nigeria and that such conflicts have become a yardstick for interurban migration in and without Nigeria.

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