Briefing: Nigerian Migrant Associations in Ghana
- 22 February 2010
The Role of Migrant Associations in Adjustment, Integration and Development: the Case of Nigerian Migrant Associations in Accra, Ghana, by Thomas Antwi Bosiakoh
Different migration scholars have acknowledged the recent growth of migrant associations in different parts of the world. Though these associations are a worldwide phenomenon, existing literature draws mostly on those in the USA avis, Latino migrants from Central and Latin America. In Ghana and Africa generally, literature on migrant associations is paltry. Those that exist only explore their development impacts on the migration sending areas. This paper explores three migrant associations – the Nigerian Women, Nigerian Committee of Brothers and the Edo State associations in Accra Ghana, and how members of these associations utilize them to ensure adjustment, integration and development. Formed soon after members arrived in Ghana, the associations meet the various needs of members. The paper postulates that social networks bind Nigerian migrants in complex social and interpersonal relationships, and away from the familial kinship-oriented and other familiar friendship networks in Nigeria, the migrants find their associations as substitutes. Without state institutions to take care of their needs, the associations play expert surrogate roles to ensure their adjustment and integration into Ghana. And though the associations are not direct vectors of economic development, their social activities make them useful social development agents in Ghana. I make a case for integration of migrant associations into the Ghanaian migration policies.