Equal Partnerships – African Intermediary Cities as Actors and Partners in Urban Migration Governance

Partnerships in Saint-Louis, Senegal


Daniel Provost and Pauline Cherunya

Home to a population of around 300,000 inhabitants, the Senegalese city of Saint Louis borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Republic of Mauritania and the Senegal River to the north. The intermediary city serves as a point of arrival, transit, residence, destination, and return for a wide range of mobile populations. While Saint Louis’ strategic position at the coast attracts migrants in search of socio-economic opportunities, climate-related stressors along with inadequate access to accommodation and social services challenge integration and local action on migration. To create an overview of activities, partnerships and cooperation gaps, the Equal Partnerships project developed participatory field research with the city of Saint Louis in February and March 2023 and facilitated a local workshop. The stakeholder mapping shows that a wide range of local, national and international actors address migration and displacement in Saint Louis with cooperative action focusing mainly on local climate-driven displacement as well as on child protection. Important cooperation gaps persist regarding issues of international migration. The case study situates Saint Louis in the national and regional migration context, presents the outcomes of the stakeholder mapping, identifies opportunities and challenges of cooperative action on migration and concludes with concrete policy recommendations for strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships to address mixed migration in the urban context.