Ange Bergson Lendja Ngnemzué


Fighting Unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Illegal Emigration as Youth Response?

In this contribution, I examine the problem of illegal emigration among African youth as a response to scarce employment opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. I suggest that if they leave the continent in search of better pastures abroad, there is more than just the search for employment to be read into young Africans’ decisions to leave the continent. I argue that the outmigration decisions of the unemployed are part of a political project. This presentation puts Africa’s Youth Unemployment and Outmigration Decisions in historical context. To do this, I follow three distinct periods: (a) early independence, (b) the authoritarian and neo-patrimonial era, and (c) the neoliberal era. The analysis reveals that unemployed young Africans leave the continent in response to elites’ decisions during each of these eras. 

Part of No Exit? Migration and Borders



Ange Bergson Lendja Ngnemzué (Middlebury C.V. Starr School in Africa: Cameroon)

Ange Bergson Lendja Ngnemzué holds a PhD in philosophy of sciences from University of Paris I, as well as a PhD in political science from University of Paris VIII. He is the author of books and articles on illegal immigration, which he tried to explain by examining culture, borders/frontiers, and African migrants’ subjectivity in times of crisis. He is an assistant professor and consultant in social sciences in Cameroon (Protestant University of Central Africa and University of Dschang), the United States (Boston University and Middlebury College), Japan (Kyoto University), and France (University of Paris VIII). 

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