Moreover, by 2050, slightly more than 50 per cent of the overall population in sub-Saharan Africa are projected to live in urban areas. By comparison, it is assumed that the urban population share in Europe will have reached the 80 per cent threshold by then. Thus, it would be an illusion to presume that the rural population in sub-Saharan Africa will simply “fade out” via a huge rural exodus within the next few decades. In absolute numbers, as compared to all other world areas, the rural population in Africa is in fact even set to increase over the next decades (see Figure below).

Internal migration: important, but largely ignored

Nonetheless, many African countries are characterised by a high degree of demographic mobility and migration rates. A lot of these migration movements within African countries are still rural-rural and are often temporarily limited or circular.