Emigration from Cameroon to Europe, 2000-2005

Teke Johnson Takwa, Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques (IFORD)

Traditionally, Europe has been the key destination for many Cameroonian with specialized skills seeking employment or students looking for higher education. Since 1986 when a severe economic crisis started in Cameroon, the categories of Cameroonians leaving for Europe has increased to include unskilled emigrants, persons seeking marriage,etc. Some of these emigrants use officially accepted means to leave for Europe while others use clandestine methods. The use of clandestine methods has resulted in some cases to forced repatriations and deaths thereby causing a lot pain to the affected Families. This caused the government to ask the Census Bureau to include questions for the first time in a General Population and Housing questionnaire on who left Cameroon between 2000-2005, where he, she or they moved to, at what age they left, the year of departure and main reason for doing so. The study revealed that the most important reason for departure from Cameroon to Europe is economic but other reasons such as emigration for marriage or for family reunion are equally important. The study also revealed that most of those who leave are young persons of 20-40. The study revealed that even though emigrants from Cameroon go to almost all countries of Europe, the main destinations remain France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Belgium.Other revelations from the study are that there exist a significant variation in reasons for departure and age at departure. For example, while young emigrants of below 15 move in a majority for family reunion, the older ones (20-35) move for studies,for work or for marriage.Emigration for marriage is also important especially among female emigrants. The unspecification of the main reason for departure isv ery high. The study also reveals that despite restrictions on immigrant into many European countries, many Cameroonians are still succeeding to enter them.

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Presented in Poster Session 3