Ghana /West Africa
West Africa has a long history of population mobility, both regionally and internationally. Today it is estimated that a third of West Africans live outside their village of birth. Contemporary West African migrants are found in significant numbers around the world, with major consequences for poverty.
Within Ghana, perhaps of most importance to the poor is the very large scale of internal migration, estimated at well over 50 per cent of the population. This is primarily from north to south, with in-migrants representing over 40 per cent of the population in the Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo and Western regions. A particularly poorly understood area within internal migration is that of the migration of children, whose movement is often characterised as forced, but where the reality may be somewhat more complex. Child migration within Ghana, as well as from neighbouring Burkina Faso, have represented key areas of research for the Migration DRC.
Substantial numbers of Ghanaians have left the country since the 1970s to work and/or study in
both Europe and North America. As with many West African countries, it is difficult to find accurate
statistics. However, the proportion of health workers leaving Ghana reached quite dramatic proportions in recent years, stimulating considerable media attention. The propensity of health workers to migrate from Ghana constitutes part of another Migration DRC research project comparing mobility of the highly skilled from various developing countries.
A path-breaking new initiative in the second phase of the Migration DRC is a project, co-funded by the World Bank, to better understand the interactions between migration (internal and international) and social protection.
See also ILO work on labour migration in Africa
NEW: Views on Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa