What is the African Diaspora

Faist working group

Expertise on the Development Potential of African Migrants in Northrhine-Westfalia

The expertise was conducted on behalf of the Ministry for Generations, Women, Family, and Integration (MGFFI) of Northrhine-Wesphalia (NRW). The empirical study was carried out between December 2006 and August 2007.

The study focuses on the question of how African migrants in NRW organize themselves. Particular attention is paid to how African migrants represent and advance their interests, both in Germany and in the countries of origin. Based on an agency-centered perspective, the research focuses primarily on the migrants own positions and perspectives. Therefore, we employ qualitative research methods, for example interviews, focus-group discussions and participant observation. Through a comparison of different groups within the African diaspora in NRW, we look at the inter-group differences and at the internal differentiations of migrant associations and networks. Thereby the diverse social, economic, political and cultural conditions characterizing the respective migrant communities, as well as gender specific dimensions of the migration-development nexus come to the fore. We analyze all these aspects with respect to their transnational dimensions.
The study aims at gaining insights into the development potential of migrant organizations in the African diaspora. Based on our findings we explore the possibilities to support and advance migrant engagement in development cooperation. The study forms the basis for policy recommendations and thereby supports the planning of appropriate activities by the State Government of NRW in the domain of migration and development.

The project was directed by Prof. Thomas Faist, PhD. Members of the project team were Dr. Nadine Sieveking (field research), Margit Fauser (coordination), Judith Ehlert and Yulika Ogawa-M ller.