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Migration, Territories and Development: In Search of a New Model for Interactions

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Apr 14, 2015 / 0 Comments

[EPISODE 8] Extending the Concept of Communities for Shared Development to the Rest of the World




What are we going to discuss? International migration, diasporas, development, migrants’ territories of origin, host countries…and links that migrants forge each day involving all these elements. We will discuss these issues in 8 posts. Please feel free to comment, criticize, make suggestions, question, agree, or disagree. This is a space to make your voice heard.


Extending the Concept of Communities for Shared Development to the Rest of the World
Communities for Shared Development could become more common, in various forms, in Morocco as well as in all countries concerned by emigration.


Communities for Shared Development have no set form.  They will develop as required and expected by the participants, at the initiative both of the territories and of the diasporas.  We can imagine that the changes identified in the case of Morocco (emergence of actors in the home countries and individualization of the members of diasporas in the host countries) may to varying degrees be mirrored elsewhere.


The unprecedented increase in educated people all over the world is creating a new demand for participation (political, social, cultural) in the life of the territories.  The Arab uprisings reflect this demand.  The accession to independence of most the South countries was achieved with a very small number of educated people (in 1956, the year of independence, only 450 Moroccans had passed the baccalauréat examination) and this situation was the faithful reflection of a highly centralized form of governance.  Today hundreds of millions of people in the world, distributed all over their countries, have achieved a level of education enabling them to express their views and to demand a place in society (quite unlike the situation prevailing as recently as half a century ago).  States’ responses will be different in the short and medium term, depending on their history, their legitimacy and their political acumen but over the long term the emergence of a multitude of local actors is inevitable.  


In parts of the world which have provided large contingents of internal and international migrants, the forces emanating from these emergent actors will be able to spearhead the creation of Communities of Shared Development.  In Morocco, these forces are to be found mainly  in the local communities (communes) but in other countries and on other continents with other traditions these forces could be rural trade unions, networks of foundations or universities, environmental protection associations, or a combination of these actors with varying connections to the local communities.  The point is that these local actors must be seen as being credible, authentic and trustworthy so as to assemble the member of the diaspora and to attract other people, other resources and other energies.


At the same time, we imagine that the changes identified in the Moroccan diaspora are found in other diasporas, subject of course to their own particular features.  Improved skills, a desire to find a mooring in the home country (or their parents’ home country) but a mooring of an individualized and sporadic kind, not subject to sectarian obligations.


The democratization of the new information technologies and the multiplication of virtual means of communication create powerful new tools for connecting this multitude of local actors and these members of diasporas desiring “to do something” with/for their home countries.


The scene is thus set for the emergence all over the world of numerous Communities of Shared Development, of very different kinds and natures, which will create the institutions missing from the fourth dimension of globalization – the dimension involving the movement of persons.  Globalized institutions in which local actors and migrants will have a voice.  Institutions in which they will be able truly to experience an attachment to the identity of their origins that is compatible with openness to others.






Jacques OULD AOUDIA is a Development Economics Researcher.

Professional experience: Until 2011: Economist at the Treasury Directorate (Ministry of Economy, France): analysis of the institutional foundations of development economics, in particular in the Arab world. Research associate at the Royal Institute of Strategic Studies (IRES, Morocco).

Volunteer work: President of the “Migration and Development” association established by Moroccan migrants in 1986. Website of the association:

Author of several publications: including: Captation ou création de richesse? Une convergence inattendue entre Nord et Sud, Gallimard, Le Débat n°178, January-February, 2014 ; Des migrants marocains acteurs du développement, (with Yves Bourron), Hommes & Migrations No.1303, July-September, 2013.

Author website:   


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