To Stay or Not to Stay: A Research Agenda for the Study of African Perspectives on Return Migration Intentions

Authors: Joseph Mensah*, York University
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Africa, Canada
Keywords: African immigrants, return migration, Ghanians, Somalis, Canada
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Napoleon C1, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Increasingly, governments at both ends of the migration cycle recognize the value of (im)mmigrants, and are finding creative ways to support them for their respective national interest. Generally, countries of origin, especially in Africa, look to lure their diaspora talents and resources back home for national development, just as countries of destination (mostly in the West) are using their immigrants to open up trade links overseas and to enhance their development assistance to the global South. That immigrants are also doing their own consultations at both end to promote their interest cannot be overlooked. Concurrently, in the case of many first generation African immigrants in the West, there are indications that the older they get, and the longer they remain abroad, the more likely their concerns shift from social justice issues concerning employment, housing and education in the host country to matters of retirement, investment, and transnational business back home. Given these emerging trends, the need to know more about immigrants’ intentions to stay or not to stay in a host country cannot be gainsaid. This paper sets up a research agenda to examine return migration intentions from the perspectives of African immigrants in the West, with particular attention to Ghanaians and Somalis in Canada. The paper sheds light on the over-arching themes, methodological challenges and prospects, and future trends in the study of return migration intentions among African immigrants in Canada.

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