An ever-greater proportion of immigrants to Canada is from countries in the Global South, including Africa. The Southern African diaspora in Canada, which currently exceeds 120,000 people and continues to grow, is the focus of this special report, co-published with the Southern African Migration Programme (SAMP). Guided by the new consensus that migration is, or can be, good for development, given that migrants from the South to the North rarely cut their ties when they emigrate, the authors of this report, led by Jonathan Crush, CIGI Chair in Global Migration and Development, provide a systematic knowledge base about the Southern African diasporas in Canada, insights about the actual and potential development impacts of these diasporas, and a new methodology for accessing information about diasporas.

SAMP, an international network of African and Canadian organizations based at the University of Cape Town, conducted an innovative online and face-to-face survey of over 2,000 Southern Africans in Canada in 2010 and 2011, examining, among other things, the linkages maintained with countries of origin, including remittances and other economic links and involvement with development-related activities in countries of origin. The report identifies the kinds of activities that members of the diaspora are, or would like to be, engaged in, providing valuable information that the Canadian government could use to reframe the diaspora as development partners in new ways and creatively support their work and projects with dedicated funding and support.

  • Wade Pendleton (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is Professor Emeritus from San Diego State University and an Honorary Research Associate (University of Cape Town, Anthropology Department).

  • Mary Caesar (LL.B., University of Cape Town and M.A., Queen’s University) is a researcher at the Southern African Research Centre, Queen’s University. She is also a doctoral student in the History Department at Queen’s.

  • Sujata Ramachandran is a research associate with SAMP at Queen’s University. Her research interests include SouthSouth migration, diaspora development engagement and migrant integration in receiving countries.

  • Cassandra Eberhardt (M.A., Queen’s University) is project coordinator for the Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs at Queen’s University. She previously worked as a researcher and project administrator support for the Southern African Research Centre at Queen’s. Her research areas include migration, diasporas, ethnic identity, ethnic media, Latin America and Southern Africa.

  • Ashley Hill (M.Sc. in Forced Migration, Oxford University) is currently the director of Community Service for Blyth Education. She previously held the positions of research assistant and researcher with the Southern African Research Centre at Queen’s.