Sodade di Nha Terra, Assessing the Developmental Impact of Return Migration in Praia, Cape Verde
Joao Frederico Da Silva Brandao, ..
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Sodade di Nha Terra* – Assessing the developmental impact of return migration in Praia, Cape Verde The link between migrations and development has been assuming a particular relevance in both political and academic fields. In the general debate, return migration is an element whose developmental impact is far from systematized. Based on a research carried out in Praia, Cape Verde, that analyzed the flow of returnees from Portugal, this article assesses the developmental impact of return migration. In Cape Verde, migration policy is at least as old as the state. Moreover, the archipelago has been witnessing an increasing role of International Organizations such as IOM and EU in that specific field. In the process of return, the political institutional context is an important variable influencing both the characteristics of return and its impact. Among returnees one can find radically different groups of people such as young graduates, deportees, labor migrants or high skilled migrants enrolled in “virtual return of competences” schemes. We argue that return migration assumes nowadays multiple faces and dynamics. Consequently, its impact back home is necessarily heterogeneous. International actors should take it into account when it comes to policy formulation. The results obtained also indicate that the developmental impact of return is not as positive as it is said. Investment of pensions and savings is limited, in particular when it is related to business creation. The absorption of human capital acquired overseas is not automatic and faces several bottlenecks. Brain gain coexists side by side with brain waste. The results show that Cape Verdean returnees keep transnational ties upon return, however they are bounded to familiar and friendship contacts with little impact in development terms. * In Cape Verdean Krioul: “Homesickness of my land”