THE ROLE OF FOREIGN POLICY IN MITIGATING MIGRATION PROBLEMS IN AFRICA: A CASE STUDY OF KENYA

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The concept of migration involves both space and time. Generally, among all human movements, migration can be defined as one or more movements resulting in the change of place of abode of an individual. Population movement, or the phenomenon of migration, is as old as humanity and has played a crucial role in shaping the world as we know it today. The study aims to assess the role of foreign policy in mitigating migration challenges in Africa, with a focus on Kenya. Given that the migration inflows are unlikely to subside in the near future, there is an emerging narrative that tends to connect the national and international dimensions of international migration. This study employed the Realism Theory to evaluate migration and human security issues in foreign policy. In adopting realism theory, it is worth noting that historically,  the most important concern of any government was the survival of the nation state. States employ all means to secure their sovereignty and a foreign policy of a government must put the national interest of a country first before anything else.  The research methodology gives the direction to follow to get answers to issues that are of concern. The main research materials for the study were sourced from the main actors in this field. The qualitative and quantitative data analysis method was used for data analysis which involved a detailed and systematic analysis of the collected information. Data analysis was used for Content and or Document Analysis, through a review of literature and reports available in migration and human security issues in foreign policy with a sharp focus on the Republic of Kenya. The final results of the data analyzed were presented in the form of narrative, frequency tables, bar graphs and pie charts. The study found that out of a total of the initial 50 (100%) targeted, 38 (76%) successfully filled the questionnaire while 12 (24%) were unsuccessful. The study also found that 95 percent of the respondents were aware of the term migration as a concept and had experienced the concept in their line of duty. Generally the sampled population was highly distributed in terms of age ranging from 30 - 39 years. According to these informants, studies of African migration have tended to offer a somewhat contradictory picture of movement and its relationship with development on the continent. The study thus concludes that the patterns of the flow of people between countries are widely influenced by international economic, political and cultural interrelations. The study thus proved the hypothesis that Kenya’s Foreign Policy (2014) document articulates little in mitigating migration problems. The findings showed that actors do not necessarily follow foreign policy documents and yet some action taken by them has an effect or influence on emerging migration issues. The study further concludes that cooperation between governments in countries of origin, transit and destination, and among non-governmental organizations, civil society and migrants themselves influences migration to a large extent. The study recommends that governments through the concerned authorities should broaden their avenues to actively involve members of public in migration issues.

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