Community Mapping and Socio-Economic Profiling of Communities of Return in West Africa - Ghana -- by Samuel Hall

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Samuel Hall was commissioned by IOM under the EUTF-funded joint initiative to conduct a regional assessment of communities of return in 11 West African countries (including Ghana). The Joint Initiative seeks to strengthen the reintegration of returning migrants. Along with a socio-economic assessment of each community, Samuel Hall mapped key stakeholders, their capacities and existing services to support IOM regional offices in developing effective reintegration activities.

Context, Objectives and Methodology

Despite a safe and stable socio-political environment, young Ghanaians risk their lives through irregular migration routes in search of better livelihoods. In 2018, 213 Ghanaians arrived in Italy by boat – a sharp decrease from 2016 (5,636 arrivals).

Though Ghana is expected to have one of the worlds’ fastest growing economies with projected growth of 7.6% for 2019 this figure should not conceal the ongoing economic challenges reflected in Ghana’s recent Human Development Index (HDI) rating where they rank 139 out of 188. The 15-to-34-year-old age group face significant challenges to access jobs, and a bulge in young labour market entrants is expected in the next five years.

Beyond its economic dimension, migration is also deeply rooted in social cultural norms. In regions like Brong Ahafo, it is a common phenomenon for the youth who have seen friends and family go abroad and coming back as heroes to improve conditions in their hometown. To enable returning migrants to achieve sustainable reintegration, activities must include, in addition to economic projects, also initiatives related to the social and the psychological dimensions of reintegration. This analysis aims to better understand the communities in which returnees arrive, to make recommendations at local and national levels.

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