Botswana: migration perspectives and prospects

Botswana: migration perspectives and prospects

As a migrant "sending and receiving" country, Botswana faces particular dilemmas and challenges

First publication from a research program that aims to provide basic, up-to-date information on migration trends, volumes, impacts, and attitudes in Botswana. It brings together the research findings from three national surveys of migration attitudes and behaviours undertaken in Botswana in 1997 and 1998. These were: (a) a national random sample survey of Batswana resident in Botswana at the time of the survey; (b) a sample survey of potential skilled Batswana migrants and emigrants; and (c) a survey of skilled and professional foreign citizens currently resident in Botswana.

Findings include:

  • Botswana sends out proportionately fewer migrants for work outside the country than other SADC states and is also a major recipient of legal skilled and professional migrants (and increasing numbers of undocumented migrants)
  • Batswana migrants are extremely law-abiding and respectful of international ports of entry. The vast majority enter South Africa legally and with proper papers. They show little interest in permanent residence or South African citizenship. In fact, Botswana is seen as to be a much better place to live across a range of indicators
  • expatriates living in Botswana occupy a range of posts in both the private and public sector, come from an array of (primarily African) countries, and are significant earners by local standards. The overwhelming majority say that Botswana offers a better quality of life than in their own country and report a lack of conflict and antagonism with locals

    An executive summary of this paper is also available. [registration required}.

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