Migration patterns in rural Ghana remains unchanged

Accra A recent research has revealed that policies geared towards discouraging people to migrate internally are bound to fail unless the current spatial inequalities in development are reduced.

The research also states that spatial inequalities in job opportunities are the main drive of internal migration in the country.

Professor Joseph K. Teye, Director of Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana, Legon and a Principal Investigator of the research team, said the research revealed that internal migration is still a dominant form of migration in the country, hence the need for migration management programmes to focus internally as well.

The research, Changing Patterns of Migration and Remittances: A case Study of Rural Ghana focused on the three Northern regions; Brong Ahafo and Volta regions; Accra and Tema.

It formed part of a dissemination workshop organized by the Migrating out of Poverty Research Programme Consortium (MOOP-RPC) to highlight the key findings of three main research work of the MOOP-RPC.

These include research on the Migration Industry, Gender and Generations; Understanding the Dynamics of Migrant Households in Ghana and the Income and Remittances research.

Prof Teye said the study shows that re-migration is quite common among both internal and international return migrants, implying that migrants’ re-integration processes are not quite effective or many people do not plan well for their return.

He said migration patterns in rural Ghana have not changed much within the last three years and about 80 per cent Ghanaians migrants migrates due to some form of economic reason.

Increasingly, more are migrating to seek work or better job opportunities; and for the purpose of seeking better job opportunities, males tend to migrate more, he said.

However, Prof Teye said, the research also showed that females tend to migrate more (18.9 per cent) for the purpose of study training than their male counterparts (15.2 per cent).

On the role of social network in the migration process, the study showed there was gender differences in contact at destination. More males are taking risks in terms of migrating without a contact person than females.

The study also migrants from the Upper West Region are less likely to rely on social networks and recommended that more sensitization and migration facilitation interventions be made in those regions to help curb high migration risk-taking.

On remittances, Prof Teye said, the study has shown that the average amount of remittances sent by migrants has increased, indicating that many migrants are contributing towards poverty reduction and socio-economic development in their origins.

This, he said, suggests the need for policy makers to develop programmes to leverage remittances for poverty reduction and socio-economic development in migrants’ sending areas.

While many of households left behind and migrants in Accra believe that migration has contributed to improved well-beings, there are other migrants who think life at home would have been better, the study said and called for public education on life in Accra so that people could make informed migration decisions.

Professor Mariama Awumbila, Director of MOOP Project and the Principal Investigator, Migration and Industry, called for the review of the ban on recruitment of Ghanaian workers to the Gulf States.

It is time we review that ban it about two years now and see how to change it from negative to positive to benefit all, she said.

She said instead of banning them, the government should consider going into bilateral agreements with the Gulf States and monitor it to ensure that migrants are not taken advantage of.

She said there is the need government to facilitate the implementation of the National Migration Policy and Labour Policy to address some of the policy issues raised in the study.

Source: Ghana News Agency