'; ICES20 at Mekelle University: 20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies
Geralta mountains

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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Catherine DOM, Independent
ALEMU Asfaw Nigusie, Department of Political Science and International Studies, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia

In this paper I make use of data from an upcoming fourth round of the Ethiopia WIDE longitudinal study planned for early 2018, to explore the ways in which ‘globalisation’ has affected trajectories of migration from (and in, if applicable) four rural communities since 2010.
The national, regional and global migration contexts have significantly changed since then - with the 2013-14 and recent wave of return of Ethiopian nationals from Saudi Arabia; increasing foreign investment-led (agro-)industrialisation of the Ethiopian economy; the emerging policy discourse on the importance of small towns, in Ethiopia and elsewhere; regionally, large population movements linked to political crises in nearby countries; and globally, the unfolding ‘migration crisis’, a perceived rise in religious proselytising, and the growing influence of ‘national security’ concerns in domestic and foreign policies. The paper will discuss how and to what extent these and other global ideas and trends from abroad, have made practices of and perspectives on outward migration evolve in the communities. Among others, I will consider how this may have affected the relative importance of migration types (international, urban, industrial, rural) and inter-linkages between them in trajectories of step- and repeat migration. I will explore who migrates and how these trajectories are constructed over time, the strength and types of links that migrants retain with their home communities, as well as the way community members weigh migration vis-à-vis other livelihood options. In seeking to explain differentials, the paper will look at each community’s past trajectory in relation to migration for work, as well as variations in the extent to which they have been exposed to global ideas and trends.