Migration data in Middle Africa

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The nine countries that make up Middle Africa1– Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Sao Tomé and Principe – have not traditionally formed a highly integrated region. Many countries have stronger ties outside the region, in part due to low levels of intra-regional trade and limited transportation infrastructure, resulting in relatively low rates of intra-regional migration (Byiers, 2017Bazonzi, 2014). However, a large majority of migrants still move within Africa — nearly 75 per cent of all migrants from Middle Africa resided in another African country as of mid-year 2020 (UN DESA, 2020). Recurrent conflict and instability also drive substantial forced migration, and nearly 39 per cent of all migrants in the sub-region were refugees and asylum seekers as of mid-2020 (UN DESA, 2020). Despite the existence of formal free movement commitments in the region since 1983, substantial barriers continue to hamper greater cooperation on migration policy.