Welcome to the African Center for the Study and Research on Migration (ACSRM)

International Migration of Sportsmen and Sportswomen

Credit: Photo by David Iloba – Pexels

The international migration of African athletes is driven by various economic, social, political, and professional motives. The search for better living conditions and remuneration, enhanced training, coaching, and competition, and the quest for excellence cause the international migration of African sportsmen and women, among other factors. Some of the causes relate to the practice of sport and the longing to have excellent facilities and to be able to compete in the most prominent international scenes. Others go beyond sport, though they are interrelated. These include the desire to escape precarity and unemployment and improve the living conditions and the families left behind. 

Credit: Photo by Koketso Kgoboge – Wikimedia Commons

Economically developed countries with advanced sports infrastructure and professional leagues are hubs attracting sportsmen and sportswomen, including Africans, aiming at benefiting excellent facilities for training, coaching, and achieving prominence in their specialty. The expectation for better remuneration conditions attracts them to these countries. The prestige of being part of national teams and representing their homeland in international competitions or being enrolled in other national teams (especially more economically developed ones) constitutes a motive to migrate to greener pastures. 

Credit: Photo by dominik hofbauer – Unsplash

The African Centre for the Study and Research on Migration (ACSRM) aims to deepen understanding of the motives, patterns, trends, and dynamics underlying the international migration of African athletes and the impacts of the global sports market on the migration and mobility of African sports talents. The ACSRM will contribute to deepening understanding of the causes and patterns of African sportsmen and sportswomen migration within and outside Africa. It will enhance knowledge of the modus operandi of this type of migration, its impacts on African sportsmen and women migrants and their families, the origin, transit, and destination countries, and Africa’s positioning in the global sports landscape or market.

Credit: Phoyo by FiossifrejusduBénin– Wikimedia Commons

The opportunities, challenges, and risks underlying the migration of African Athletes will be examined in this research cluster. Furthermore, the ACSRM will scrutinize the living conditions of African athletes in their countries of residence and the challenges they face in their international careers. It will examine the impacts of such international migration on African athletes abroad, their families, and their origin and destination countries. The ACSRM will analyze the policy options to address the challenges underlying the international migration of African athletes and maximize its positives for the benefit of African athletes, their families, and the origin and destination countries. 

Credit: Photo by Braden Collum – Unsplash

The ACSRM also examines the national and international laws, regulations, measures, and policies related to sport migration and their actual implementation, whether they have contributed to enhanced governance of African sport migration, and, if not, what is needed to address such legal and policy gaps. The gaps in the governance of the African sports migration and protection of athletes deserve in-depth studies. The ACSRM will examine the high marketization of sports and its implications on sports migration. The nexus between migration, sports, and human rights will be reviewed to deepen understanding of the mounting racism, discrimination, xenophobia, and antimigrant sentiment in sports in the Global sports landscape, especially in the Global North, and its impacts on African athletes abroad. How the international migration of African athletes contributes to shifting African and global sports landscapes and how they connect to and support African countries will be analyzed. 

Credit: Photo by Seth Doyle – Unsplash 

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