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3rd School of Social Sciences International Conference

The College of Humanities organized its 3rd School of Social Sciences International Conferences on the 5th and 6th of April, 2017 at the ISSER Conference Centre. The theme for the conference was “Promoting Inclusiveness and Sustainable Development in Africa”. The Director for the Centre Dr. (Mrs.) Delali Badasu served as the chairperson for the afternoon sessions with the focus on “Rural/Urban Development and Migration”. For this session there was a presentation by Dr. Leander Kandilige, Dr. Mary Setrana and Maame A. Peterson on the “The Role of Door-to-Door Shipping Operators in Ghanaian International Migration”.

Authors: Dr. Leander Kandilige; Dr. Joseph Teye; Dr. Mary B. Setrana; Geraldine Adiku and Maame A. Peterson

Abstract of this presentation is below:

‘Door-to-door’ shipping operators are businesses that collect and ship goods from specific addresses in the UK to specific addresses in Ghana. They constitute a vital link between Ghanaian migrants and migrant households in Ghana, businesses, voluntary sector agencies and even government institutions. In spite of the important role of these operators as key intermediaries in the migration industry and the maintenance of transnational relationship between migrants and their home countries, very little is known about the nature of this transnational business model, the extent to which it facilitates migration processes and the implications of their operations on the development prospects of Ghana.
Using qualitative research methods, in-depth interviews were conducted among participants from the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division), Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, clearing agents, local staff and business partners of ‘door-to-door’ shipping operators in Ghana, recipients of goods and also ‘door-to-door’ shipping operators in the UK and Ghanaian migrants in the UK who use their services.
Among others, the study finds mixed results both on the micro and macro levels in Ghana. Positive effects include enhancement of the living standards of migrant households and their communities, contribution to employment levels, the GDP and tax revenue in Ghana. There are positive impacts on Ghanaian migrants’ ability to maintain transnational lifestyles due to the operations of these companies especially when they return home intermittently for visits. Some adverse effects include decline in patronage of locally produced goods due to influx of foreign and used goods, and environmental pollution. The study finds that poor declaration and valuation processes lead to substantial loss of import duties and tax revenues to Ghana. Ultimately, the paper concludes that cumbersome clearing procedures and corruption at ports hinder the potential of the business model in contributing to national development.