The mass exodus from Africa doesn’t appear to be abating anytime soon.

A new report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has shown that no fewer than 17 million Africans left the continent in 2017 in search of greener pastures.

The ‘Economic Development in Africa’ report also said 5.5 million people moved to Africa from other continents while over 18 million international migrants moved within Africa.

“Overall, some 19 million international migrants moved within Africa, and 17 million Africans left the continent during last year. The continent was also the destination for about 5.5 million people from outside,” the report found.

It said the large-scale migration of people within Africa tended to boost growth and lifted the continent’s whole economy, urging the world to dispel misconceptions and “harmful narratives” targeting migration.

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The report showed cross-border movement offered “a chance for a better life, with the social and economic benefits extending to both source and destination countries, as well as future generations”.

Speaking at the launching of the report, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Mukhisa Kituyi, said: “Our analysis shows this to be true for millions of African migrants and their families, particularly as it relates to international African migration, is rife with misconceptions that have become part of a divisive, misleading and harmful narrative.”

The report said remittances travelling back home from migrant workers both outside and inside Africa rose – on average – from 38.4 billion dollars between 2005 to 2007, to 64.9 billion dollars, during the two-year period up to the end of 2016.

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