IOM Carries Out Study on the Development Potential Of Guinea Bissau Migrants
At the request of the government of Guinea Bissau, IOM is putting
together a profile of Guinea-Bissau migrants living in Portugal and
France, host to the largest Guinea Bissau diaspora communities in
Europe, with a view to better understanding their potential to
contribute to development back home.
The focus on the migrants comes at a time when the issue of
severe skills shortage in Guinea Bissau affecting vital sectors
such as health, education and agriculture, is receiving increasing
attention from its government.
Although there are no reliable figures on the exact numbers of
Guinea Bissau nationals living abroad, a 2005 Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) migrant database puts
the number of Guinea Bissau nationals living in Portugal and France
at 32,947. However, government estimates on the Guinea Bissau
diaspora in Portugal range between 40,000 – 50,000 and
between 15,000 – 20,000 in France.
The study, jointly carried out by IOM and the Centre for African
Development Studies (CEsA) in Lisbon, will fill the information gap
regarding geographical distribution of Guinea-Bissau migrants and
the skills and competences of the Guinea Bissau diaspora in
Portugal and France.
By matching the results with the development priorities proposed
by earlier field research in Guinea Bissau, it is expected that the
study will contribute to the drawing up of a migration and
development policy for Guinea-Bissau.
It is also expected that the study will provide recommendations
for the mobilization of the Guinea-Bissau diaspora in an action
plan on initiating development projects in their country of
According to a UN report, an estimated 25 per cent to 50 per
cent of Guinea-Bissau nationals with university education live
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