College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Abel Chikanda, Ph.D.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Geography and Atmospheric Science, African/African American Studies
Assistant Professor
Primary office:
Lindley Hall
Room 204
University of Kansas
1475 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, Kansas 66045
Second office:
Bailey Hall
Room 12E

Abel Chikanda (Ph.D., University of Western Ontario) is an Assistant Professor of African & African-American Studies and Geography.  His main research and teaching interests include migration and development, refugee movement, food security, and the informal sector in Africa. He has held teaching positions at several universities in Canada including Western University, Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo.

Research Interests

  • Migration and development
  • Food security
  • Urban poverty
  • Informal sector
  • International development
  • Research methods, Africa, Diasporas

Selected Publications

Crush, J. & Chikanda, A. (2018). Staunching the Flow: The Brain Drain and Health Professional Retention Strategies in South Africa. In M. Czaika (Ed.), High-Skilled Migration: Drivers and Policies (pp. 337-359). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chikanda, A. Crush, J. & Frayne, B. (2018). Migration and Urbanization: Consequences for Food Security. In B. Frayne, J. Crush, & C. McCordic (Eds.), Food and Nutrition Security in Southern African Cities (pp. 48-65). New York: Earthscan/Routledge.

Crush, J. & Chikanda, A. (2017). Mutual Antagonisms: Why the South African Diaspora and the South African Government Are Not Engaged. In J. Mangala (Ed.), Africa and its Global Diaspora: The Policy and Politics of Emigration. (pp. 331-357 ). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI://

Chikanda, A., Crush, J., & Walton-Roberts, M. (Eds.). (2016). Diasporas, Development and Governance. New York: Springer International Publishing.

Crush, J. Chikanda, A. Sanders, D. & Maswikwa, B. (2015). The Rise of Medical Tourism to South Africa. In N. Lunt, J. Hanefeld, & D. Horsfall (Eds.), The Elgar Handbook on Medical Tourism and Patient Mobility (pp. 323-331). London: Edward Elgar.

Chikanda, A. (2015). Zimbabwe: histoire des migrations internationals (Zimbabwe: An International Migration History). In G. Simon (Ed.), Dictionary of international migration. Geohistorical approach (Dictionnaire des migrations internationals: Approche géohistorique) (pp. 359-362). Paris: Armand Colin.

Labonte, R. Sanders, D. Mathole, T. Crush, J. Chikanda, A. Dambisya, Y. Runnels, V. Packer, C. MacKenzie, A. Tomblin Murphy, G. & Bourgeault, I. L. (2015). Health worker migration from South Africa: Causes, consequences and policy responses. Human Resources for Health, 13(92). DOI:10.1186/s12960-015-0093-4

Crush, J., Chikanda, A., & Skinner, C. (Eds.). (2015). Mean Streets: Migration, Xenophobia and Informality in South Africa. Cape Town and Nairobi: Southern African Migration Programme and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Crush, J. Chikanda, A. & Tawodzera, G. (2015). The Third Wave: Mixed Migration from Zimbabwe to South Africa. Canadian Journal for African Studies, 49(2), 363-82. DOI:10.1080/00083968.2015.1057856

Crush, J. & Chikanda, A. (2015). South-South Medical Tourism and the Cross-Border Search for Health in Southern Africa. Social Science and Medicine, 124, 313-320. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.06.025

Chikanda, A. & Crush, J. (2014). Diasporas of the South. In R. Anich, J. Crush, S. Melde, & J. O. Oucho (Eds.), A New Perspective on Human Mobility in the South (pp. 65-88). New York: Springer.

Chikanda, A. & Crush, J. (2014). The Geography of Refugee Flows into Zimbabwe. African Geographical Review. DOI:10.1080/19376812.2014.933706

Chikanda, A. (2013). [Review of the book The Migration-Displacement Nexus: Patterns, Processes and Policies, edited by Khalid Koser and Susan Martin. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books]. Population, Space and Place, 19(1), 124-126. DOI:10.1002/psp.1707

Crush, J. Eberhardt, C. Caesar, M. Chikanda, A. Pendleton, W. & Hill, A. (2012). Diasporas on the Web: New Networks, New Methodologies. In C. Vargas-Silva (Ed.), Handbook of Research Methods on Migration (pp. 345-365). Cheltenham and Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing. DOI:10.4337/9781781005231

Crush, J. Chikanda, A. & Pendleton, W. (2012). The Disengagement of the South African Medical Diaspora in Canada. Journal of Southern African Studies, 38(4), 927-949. DOI:10.1080/03057070.2012.741811

Chikanda, A. (2011). The Changing Patterns of Physician Migration from Zimbabwe. Journal of International Migration, Health and Social Care, 7(2), 77-92. DOI:10.1108/17479891111180057

Chikanda, A. (2011). SAMP Migration Policy Series No. 54. The Engagement of the Zimbabwean Medical Diaspora. Cape Town: SARC: Queen’s University and Idasa.

Chikanda, A. (2010). The Political Economy of Migration from Southern Africa: The Case of Medical Doctors. OpenSpace, 3(3), 24-29.

Chikanda, A. (2009). Environmental Degradation in sub-Saharan Africa. In I. N. Luginaah & E. K. Yanful (Eds.), Environment and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa: Managing an Emerging Crisis (pp. 79-94). London & New York: Springer Science Business Media B.V.

Chikanda, A. (2007). Medical Migration from Zimbabwe in the Post-ESAP Era: Magnitude, Causes and Impact on the Poor. Development Southern Africa, 24(1), 47-60. DOI:10.1080/03768350601165850

Chikanda, A. (2006). Skilled Health Professionals’ Migration and its Impact on Health Delivery in Zimbabwe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32(4), 667 - 680. DOI:10.1080/13691830600610064

Chikanda, A. (2005). Nurse Migration from Zimbabwe: Analysis of Recent Trends and Impacts. Nursing Inquiry, 12(3), 162-174. DOI:10.1111/j.1440-1800.2005.00273.x

Selected Grants

Rhine, Kathryn, (Principal), Mesick Braun, Cassandra, (Co-Principal), Chikanda, Abel, (Co-Principal), Chronic Conditions: Knowing, Seeing & Healing the Body in Global Africa, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (John E. Sawyer Seminars on the Comparative Study of Cultures), $225,000, Submitted 03/20/2018 . Foundation. Status: Funded.

Expert instruction in Arabic, Kiswahili, and Wolof at the beginning and intermediate levels will be offered over eight weeks in June-July 2018.

Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowships

The Kansas African Studies Center has received $140,000 in funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to launch public discussions, community programming, and the creation of educational resources in local communities to discuss the challenges and opportunities surrounding recent demographic changes in the region. Visit to learn more. 

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