Transits

material culture, migration and everyday life

Category: Angola

Migration and migrants in the media

The farewell of Portuguese migrants (DN); Protests in favor of refugees in Germany (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch); Immigrant detention center in the Manus Island, Australia (Reuters)

The analysis of the media is a contextualization task, the objective of which is to help us understand the prevalent representations of migrants and migration issues, as well as the prevalent representations of the contexts covered by our project (Portugal, Angola, Australia and Germany).

Written press sources from each of the countries were selected according to their representativeness in terms of circulation, influence on public opinion and tendency to reproduce the content of other national publications. The news pieces were collected via the newspapers’ websites. The period covered is January 2017 to June 2018.

The task is ongoing, however, we have finalized the collection and preliminary analysis of the Portuguese newspapers Público e Diário de Notícias, from which a total of 818 journalistic pieces have been collected.

Relating to migration, the themes most covered by these two newspapers were, firstly, the restrictive migratory policies in countries like the USA,  Italy and Hungary; followed by the Mediterranean migratory flow. In terms of national themes, those most written about were  Golden Visas and the naturalisation of migrants. Within emigration, the bulk of the focus was about demography and specific professions.

Australia appears mainly in pieces about terrorism and pedophilia. Migration here appears in relation to the illegal detention of refugeesThe news about Portuguese in Australia are overwhelmingly concerning surf events. There are no pieces about Australians in Portugal.

The pieces concerning Angola report mainly the economic crisisthe power transition between presidents Santos and Lourenço and operation Fizz. As for migration, the news reports on migratory policies. News about Portuguese-Angolan relations focuses on diplomatic and economic relations. The news coverage about Angolans in Portugal is very small, with a focus on the number of Angolans who live in Portugal, and Angolan students’ difficulties in receiving money from Angola.

Germany is portrayed as a  strong economy that influences Europe and Portugal. News about migration focus on crimes against immigrants and immigration advocatesmigration policies and refugees. Portuguese migrants appear in news about nurses and Portuguese companies in trade fairs.  News about Germans in Portugal focus on German companies.

We will continue to share our findings as they emerge.

Portuguese in Angola: what the statistics show*

Characterized by varied socio-professional, economic, cultural, etc. profiles, migratory flows to Angola increased from the 1990s onwards with the opening up of a market economy and with the Bicesse Agreements, whose measures facilitated the movement of migrants in Angolan territory. Similarly, the lack of border control mechanisms[1]in the face of illegal migration, the formation of migratory networks acting as an intermediary between individual actors or small groups and the structural forces of attraction, and the European and world crisis of recent years, were factors that not only supported but stimulated new migration flows to Angola.

From 2002 onwards, with the end of the civil war and, afterwards, with the global financial crisis of 2008 and the much talked about the crisis in Europe, these intensified and diversified in a wider context of globalized migratory flows. Currently, with the slowdown of the Angolan economy, in an environment (of financial and foreign exchange crisis) marked since mid-2014 by the fall in demand and lowering of oil prices and the lack of investment in other areas, with consequences in measures that have been taken to contain public spending, stalled investments, restrained access to the U.S. Dollar, devaluation of the Kwanza, difficulties in transferring money out of Angola, delays in salaries and payments to suppliers, etc., there is already talk of a possible decrease in migratory flows.

In the global context of the new Portuguese emigrants, Angola has emerged as one of the preferred destinations of many Portuguese who migrated outside the European Union, attracting tens of thousands of workers in recent years. Taking into account the average annual flows between 2008-2012 it is estimated that 10 to 12% went to Angola and Mozambique, 80 to 85% to Europe and 1% to Brazil (Pires, Pereira, Azevedo e Ribeiro 2014:37). 

Registrations in the Consulate General of Portugal in Luanda and Benguela, defined here over a period of 10 years, show that the numbers of 2008 to 2015 maintained a growth trend, from more than 72 thousand in 2008 to more than 134 thousand in 2015.

 

Consular registrations 2008 – 2017

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from Observatório da Emigração

Continuing to analyze the evolution of the emigration of the Portuguese to Angola, but now based on the number of visas issued by the Consulate General of Angola in Lisbon and Oporto, it is confirmed that the Portuguese continued to go even with the economic crisis that since 2014 has been installed in that country:

Portuguese inflows in Angola

Year N Growth rate
2013 4651 _
2014 5098 9,6%
2015 6715 31,7%
2016 3908 -41,8%
2017 2962 -24,2%

Chart elaborated by the project “Transits” based on data from Observatório da Emigração

Contrary to some expectations, Portuguese emigration to Angola grew by around 32 % in 2015. However, it declined significantly from 2015 to 2016, close to 42% (- 2,807 entries) and 2016 to 2017 (…). The cumulative and prolonged effects of the crisis in Angola, directly influencing fewer inputs and more outputs, will help us to understand these data.

Studies are scarce, but the emigration of Portuguese to Angola has been accentuated and socio-economic, cultural, etc. profiles diversified. Apart from investors and entrepreneurs, there are still many expatriate Portuguese workers in Angola, in the context of very varied work proposals and migration projects (looking for new or better opportunities, unemployment …). We are interested in exploring and discussing them in the extension of the material dimensions of contemporary movements.

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* Consular records on Portuguese emigration to Angola should be read with caution. Not only is registration not mandatory, as its updating entails some maintenance weaknesses. On the other hand, the number of Portuguese consulates in Angola of people born in Portugal is only available for the year 2013, when 38,994 registered persons were registered.  A number far below those announced in the media, about 100 to 200 thousand or more.
[1] For example, the extensive border with the DRC, a country bordering 7 of the 18 provinces of Angola (Cabinda, Zaire, Malanje, Uige, Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Moxico), has been the gateway for many illegal migrants DRC and West Africa.

Angola identity card: some emigration and immigration indicators

According to the UN, Angola would have in 2015 about 555 thousand emigrants residing abroad. The number corresponds to 1.9% of the Angolan population. The same source indicates that the Angolans emigrated especially to the neighbor Democratic Republic of the Congo (33%) and Portugal (27%). If the case of DRC, since long time ago, the populations of the north of Angola circulate between the two sides of a boundary forced by the colonization. With Portugal the historical relations involve different phases and a complex and dynamic colonial past.

Angola has been assuming itself as a regional power in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2002, with the end of the civil war, the country has attracted immigrants with different socio-professional, economic and cultural profiles. The UN data have registered the presence of 106,845 immigrants in Angola for the year 2015, equivalent to only 0.4% of the population of the destiny country. In a vast context of globalized migratory flows, they found among the three most represented nationalities: DRC (40%), Portugal (15%) and Cape Verde (10%).

Comparing the countries analyzed in the project (Portugal, Germany, Australia), Angola is the one with the fewest number of entrances and exits of migratory movements.

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