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16 Sep 2020

Migration in West and North Africa and across the Mediterranean - Chapter 23

The development impact of “gold rushes” in Mali and Burkina Faso: the multifaceted effects of migration on artisanal gold mining sites
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This chapter analyses migration to small-scale gold mining sites in Mali and Burkina Faso. It investigates the extent to which these promote development in communities of destination, and examines migrants’ profiles and reasons to migrate. It finds that gold miming sites draw considerable flows of internal and cross-border migrants, which have intensified in the past 10 years. Whereas artisanal gold mining  previously attracted temporary migrants, it now appears to have established itself as an economic activity leading to long-term settlement on the sites. Artisanal gold mining promotes economic development, attracts secondary migration through new businesses and services, and represents an alternative to agriculture, absorbing youth unemployment and providing an alternative to migration to cities for young people.