The Politics of Home: Dual Citizenship and the African Diaspora


  • The author is grateful for the able research assistance provided by Garang Deng and Mohamed Dieng, who were undergraduate students at the time.


In recent decades, more countries have started to recognize dual citizenship. Although overlooked in the literature, Africa is part of this trend with more than half of its governments now permitting their nationals to naturalize elsewhere while retaining home country rights. Why have some African countries embraced dual citizenship for emigrants, while others have not? We examine demographic, political, and economic data broadly across the continent and identify few clear patterns. We then explore the cases of Senegal, Ghana, and Kenya, finding that dual citizenship policies are driven as much by politics as they are by economic or security concerns.