Assessing the Motivations for Migration among West African Immigrants in Itinerant Retail Trading in Ghana

Elijah Yendaw, University for Development Studies (UDS)
Frank Mawutor Borbor, Family Health International 360 (FHI)
Kwadwo Asante-Afari, Health Promotion, Ghana Health Service
Bismark Nantomah, Nalerigu Senior High School

Though West African itinerant immigrant traders have become an indispensable constituent of the Ghanaian economy, it is as yet unknown what their motivations for migration are in the extant literature. Using a mixed-methods approach, this paper examined the drivers of migration among West African itinerant petty traders in the Accra Metropolis of Ghana. The paper, which was underpinned by the push-pull migration theory, surveyed 779 itinerant immigrant traders and conducted nine key informant interviews. Descriptive and bivariate statistics as well as chi-square were the main analytical techniques used to present the findings. The results indicated that most of the immigrants migrated into the country primarily to hunt for job opportunities. The analysis further revealed that about a third of the immigrants selected Ghana as their preferred destination in West Africa due to the belief that Ghanaians are hospitable people. The practical implications and theoretical contributions of this paper are discussed.

See paper.

  Presented in Session 148. Documented and Undocumented Labour Migration