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Open Access Migration to the Gulf States and China: Local Perspectives from Cameroon

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Migration to the Gulf States and China: Local Perspectives from Cameroon

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This contribution discusses local perspectives on international migration with a focus on South-South and South-East migration, namely from Cameroon to the Gulf States and to China. The report is based on a joint research project involving anthropologists and students of the Universities of Zurich, Yaoundé and Douala.

As in many African countries, international migration has become a major concern for large parts of the population of Cameroon. While western countries still feature as preferred destinations, many Cameroonians have turned to other, more easily accessible options within the South. Popular destinations are countries within Africa as well as the Near and Far East. In all these migration enterprises the family plays a crucial role, both in the preparation of the journey and with regard to transnational exchange relations. For Muslim migrants, religion may be a significant factor influencing their choice of destination besides other considerations, such as economic and educational incentives. Cette contribution examine les perspectives locales sur la migration internationale avec un accent sur la migration Sud-Sud et sur la migration Sud-Est, à savoir du Cameroun aux Etats du Golfe et à la Chine. Le rapport est basé sur un projet de recherche impliquant des anthropologues et des étudiants des universités de Zurich, Yaoundé et Douala.

Comme dans beaucoup de pays africains, la migration internationale est devenue un souci majeur pour la majeure partie de la population camerounaise. Tandis que les pays occidentaux figurent toujours comme les destinations préférées, beaucoup de Camerounais se tournent vers des pays plus accessibles dans le Sud. Les destinations populaires sont les pays africains et l'Extrême et Proche Orient. Dans toutes ces stratégies de migration la famille joue un rôle crucial, tant dans la préparation du voyage qu'en ce qui concerne les relations d'échange transnationales. Pour les migrants musulmans, la religion peut être un facteur significatif influençant le choix de la destination en plus d'autres considérations, comme des motivations économiques et éducatives.

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