Why Europe Should Build Legal Migration Pathways with Nigeria

July 19, 2021


The youth population within Nigeria is rapidly increasing, but despite their high levels of education and skills, many are struggling to find meaningful work opportunities at home. At the same time, Europe’s working-age population is declining, resulting in employers in these countries facing large and persistent skill shortages within a range of mid-skill professions. Despite the large benefits that facilitating migration between Nigeria and Europe could bring, and despite the overtures of both European governments and the European Union, few mutually beneficial migration partnerships exist.

Over the last year, CGD has been working with the World Bank to understand how our Global Skill Partnership migration model could be implemented between Nigeria and Europe. The full results of this work have now been published in a new report, Expanding Legal Migration Pathways from Nigeria to Europe: From Brain Drain to Brain Gain. The report explores both why Nigeria and Europe should implement migration partnerships and develops a framework as to how they can do so. This framework is then applied to three sectors and partner countries: a healthcare partnership between Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK), a construction partnership between Nigeria and Germany, and an ICT partnership with various European states.

This brief focuses on the first part of this equation, the why: understanding the opportunity that lies before us to better link the labor markets of Nigeria and Europe and the innovation that could do just that.

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