This contribution discusses local perspectives on international migration with a focus on South-South and South-East migration, namely from Cameroon to the Gulf States and to China. The report is based on a joint research project involving anthropologists and students of the Universities of Zurich, Yaoundé and Douala.
As in many African countries, international migration has become a major concern for large parts of the population of Cameroon. While western countries still feature as preferred destinations, many Cameroonians have turned to other, more easily accessible options within the South. Popular destinations are countries within Africa as well as the Near and Far East. In all these migration enterprises the family plays a crucial role, both in the preparation of the journey and with regard to transnational exchange relations. For Muslim migrants, religion may be a significant factor influencing their choice of destination besides other considerations, such as economic and educational incentives.