In This Review

Youth on the Move: Views From Below on Ethiopian International Migration
Youth on the Move: Views From Below on Ethiopian International Migration
edited by Asnake Kefale and Fana Gebresenbet
Hurst, 2021, 304 pp
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The contributors to this fine collection analyze three distinct networks of migration out of Ethiopia: one involving mostly women who seek employment as domestic workers in the Gulf countries, another of people who try to reach South Africa, and a third heading for Europe. Ethiopia’s international outmigration numbers are below average by African standards, but they still involve tens of thousands of individuals every year—a number that might grow in the wake of the ongoing civil war. Almost all these migrants are very young and travel without visas. The authors resist the standard mechanistic view of migration as resulting from “push and pull” economic factors and focus instead on the beliefs, attitudes, and social connections of the migrants themselves, as they embark on what are typically extremely perilous journeys with highly uncertain outcomes. What emerges from the various forms of hard data and ethnographic material gathered in this collection is a fascinating exploration of the process of migration, revealing the social networks that enable human trafficking, what the families left at home expect of the migrants, and the aspirations of the young migrants as they voyage into the world.