Challenges of the Migration and Integration of Ethiopian Entrepreneurs to South Africa
Yordanos Estifanos, Tanya Zack and Kudakwashe P. Vanyoro (2019). ‘Challenges of the Migration and Integration of Ethiopian Entrepreneurs to South Africa‘, ACMS Policy Brief, July.
The various routes of migration – resources, networks, formal and less formal agents and the capacity of individuals undertaking the migration journey – as well as their motivation for migrating from Ethiopia to South Africa are not well understood. Yet, this inquiry could offer important insights into the base factors of migration within this ethnic entrepreneurial community. This study, undertaken under the auspices of the Migrating Out of Poverty Research Consortium (MOOP) at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) explored the migration industry that attends the migration of Ethiopians to South Africa. The study explored these issues through qualitative research that included long form interviews with 40 Ethiopian migrant entrepreneurs in Johannesburg and Durban. This was supplemented with desktop research and key informant interviews.
The study found that a large number of Ethiopians migrate to South Africa to escape political and economic hardship. Many settle in metropolitan areas as well as in rural towns and villages as entrepreneurs. Their migration is irregular and they navigate extreme border restrictions and dangerous terrain in order to make the journey. They rely on smuggling as well as social networks. Once in South Africa these migrants face considerable risks that include crime, harassment and xenophobic attacks.
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