In his talk last Thursday, Papa Sow emphasised the significant contribution of migrants to the national incomes of the African countries, which remains often neglected by climate adaptation research. This contribution points to an important potential for strengthening communities’ resilience to climate change, for example, by providing food security and education to their families but also by contributing to social projects and development.
On the one hand, co-development activities in form of co-financed joint projects with West African immigrant organizations and organizations in Western Europe can be dedicated to environmental projects, such as water supply, irrigation and use of renewable energies. Hereby migrants provide financial contribution, but also knowledge and technology as well as transnational social networks. On the other hand, the engagement of immigrants in critical initiatives, programs of ‘good governance’ and democratization processes can directly contribute to peace building.
During the presentation, Papa Sow has critically reviewed the conceptualization of codevelopment by the European governments, which tend to link it to migration control. A significant amount of national European budgets dedicated to codevelopment is redirected to repatriation of immigrants.
Dr. Sow was invited by Prof. Jürgen Scheffran, CliSAP research group Climate Change and Security. The engagement of immigrants in the eco-vulnerable Sahel region in management of water resources and resolution of conflicts related to water is the topic of the collaborative project of Dr. Papa Sow and Dr. Elina Marmer, who is currently a visiting scientist at the CLISEC group.
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