Issues of South-South Migration: A Case Study of Nigerian Diasporas in Ghana

Theophilus Fadayomi, Oluyemi Fayomi, Gbadebo Adejumo


In spite of the fact that intra and inter-regional migration predates the colonial period in Africa, South-South vis-à-vis South-North migration has received little attention in the international discourse on migration. Recent investigations are indicating that South-South migration is important in terms of its magnitude. For example, a World Bank study shows that about two-thirds of Sub-Saharan migrants remain within their sub-region with among the highest rates of intra-regional mobility (World Bank, 2011).

Beyond this general observation, information is scarce in respect of who these migrants are, their contributions to the development process of the sub-region, their opportunities and challenges within the context of regional economic communities and most importantly the need for appropriate policies and strategies to address the constraints facing this valuable resource.

It is evident from our study that Nigerians are engaged in trans-nationalism in the context of intra-regional migration in West Africa. The Nigerian Diasporas in Ghana maintain social, political and most importantly economic linkages with their home country in the process of forming transnational communities. At destination, they are organized along ethnic, religious and professional lines, which are the platforms for their interventions in the home country as remitters of ideas, funds and goods.

Their altruistic posture has often served as a major household survival strategy to cushion the negative effects of unemployment, sickness and bad harvests on household members left behind by providing for their basic consumption needs, and meeting the human capital needs of the next generation in terms of education, health care and shelter. For better-off households, remittances provide capital for small businesses and small-scale industries. The collective remittances through Home Town Development and ethnic associations are sources of funding basic infrastructural facilities which benefit all households especially in small communities that may not be benefiting from local government budgets.

The evidence from the activities of Nigerian Diasporas in Ghana shows that they, as part of the Nigerian trans-nationals world-wide, can complement and deepen Nigeria’s efforts at reducing poverty and improving development at local and national levels. Therefore, the government needs to recognize this potential and factor it into its regional cooperation, especially at ECOWAS level in order to address some of the challenges and constraints facing trans-nationals in member states.

Keywords: Diaspora, Transnationalism, Migration, Development, ECOWAS

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