Past Event

Youth Employment and Politics Seminars

Youth mobility, security and livelihoods in West Africa and the Horn

23 February 2021 13:00–14:30

The migration of African youth has been strongly associated with security issues for the continent and Europe. However, mobility is part and parcel of ordinary life and essential for finding livelihoods.

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This webinar addresses the trends in mobility among youth in West Africa and the Horn. Potential implications of the pandemic will be discussed. The webinar is the first of a webinar series on youth in Africa and MENA region, which is linked to the IDS Strategic Research Initiative ‘Ensuring decent work and inclusive politics for youth’ and is also part of IDS’ European Engagement strategy.


  • Dr. Jesper Bjarnesen, Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden. Topic: Regional perspective mobility and security in West Africa. Jesper  is a cultural anthropologist and senior researcher, specialising in regional migration and mobility in war and peace with a particular empirical focus on Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. Within this framework, he has studied the dynamics of return; urban integration; youth politics; cross-border combatant recruitment; and diaspora mobilisation. He is an active commentator on the Mediterranean migration crisis and has advocated a more migrant-centred approach to European and global migration policies. View Jesper’s presentation here
  • Dr. Dorte Thorsen, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies (IDS). Topic: Rural – urban mobilities: adolescents at the entry-level of the urban economy in West Africa. Dorte has done research with adolescent and youth migrants since 2005, primarily in West Africa. Her main focus now is on how social change, gender and generational dynamics and mobility are entwined. Policy-wise her work speaks to discourses around young migrants and their work, criticising simplified notions of trafficking and child labour, and to discourses around youth and decent work. View Dorte’s presentation here
  • Dr. Adamnesh Bogale, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Topic: Gender and intergenerational dynamics for young migrants in Ethiopia. Her research interests include internal (particularly youth rural to urban migration dynamics and poverty), international migration (with particular focus on return migration), Law and legal/policy analysis development, women and children, youth, and social protection. Her recent research looked at ‘Gender and Generation: Understanding the Dynamics of Migrant Households’, particularly exploring gender and youth through the lens of migration. She works with the Migrating out of poverty project, University of Sussex. View Adamnesh Bogale’s presentation here


  • Dr. Roy Huijsmans, Institute of Social Studies, the Hague. Roy Huijsmans is associate professor Childhood and Youth Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (The Hague) of Erasmus University, The Netherlands. His research includes work on young people and migration in the Southeast Asian context and he is currently conducting an ethnographic study on the interplay between migration and platform-mediated work in the context of the Netherlands.
  • Dr Raffaele Bertini, Data Analyst and Economist at IOM.

Chair: Dr. Marjoke Oosterom, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)

Further Resources

Key contacts

Rachel Dixon

Partnerships and Fundraising Officer

+44 (0)1273 915783


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