Introduction: Increase in refugees’ population poses great political, socio-economic and health challenges to Africa. This study aims to discuss the trends and drivers of refugees in African countries based on their country of origin.
Methods: This study utilized secondary data on the population of refugees in all African countries from 1990 to 2017 based on their countries of origin. The data utilized were compiled by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) and analysed using Microsoft Excel 2019, IBM SPSS 25 and Adobe Photoshop CS6.
Results: Seven countries account for about 66.3% of the refugee population in Africa within 1990 to 2017, five of which are in East Africa. The trend in population of African refugees from 1990 to 2017 can be divided into four phases. Phase one, a sharp decline in refugee population from 1990 till 1992, 1994 till 1997; phase two, a sharp rise in population of refugees’ from 1992 till 1994; phase three, a relatively stable period from 1998 till 2011 and phase four, an acute rise from 2011 till 2017 where it peaks. The drivers of African refugee migration are climate change, natural disasters, economic hardship, and violence and tensions.
Conclusion: The refugee population over three decades has been on the rise with occasional periods of decline. This poses great socio-economic and health challenges to the refugees as well as the host countries themselves. It is therefore necessary that the government and other concerned stakeholders create solutions to the causes of this increase in refugee population.
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