CMS Technical Paper Series, No. 2


Migration and Population Dynamics: Changing Community Formations in Ghana


Joseph Awetori Yaro

Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe

Samuel Adgei-Mensah

Akosua Darkwah

Steven Owusu Kwankye

Migration as a social process affects the demographic, economic, social and cultural dimensions of nations. Economic liberalisation especially structural adjustment policies in the developing world in conjunction with ecological, demographic and other social forces have led to the growth of major cities and decline of smaller cities and rural districts in Ghana. Regions and cities having poorer links with the global economy are losing their populations to the centres that are part of global commodity chains. Thus towns with perceived opportunities are attracting populations from lagging regions while others are losing out due to environmental and economic stresses as well as state policies thereby affecting the composition of populations within regions and towns in terms of age, sex, and ethnicity. There is therefore an emergence of migrant communities in major cities with their distinct social, economic and political orientations.

This research thematic area seeks to capture in a systematic fashion the myriad factors that shape population dynamics within the country taking in to account activities of various migrant groups such as Fulani herdsmen, Lebanese, Indian and Nigerian migrants which are of relevance in understanding migration in contemporary Ghana. The study also presents an appraisal of the dynamics of the changing fortunes of towns located in different ecological and economic zones in Ghana and the plausible reasons accounting for these patterns. It also explores migration within a livelihood perspective. The characteristics of migrant communities and the factors leading to their creation over time and space were also discussed. Social networks that enable constrain and propel the migration process and the relationships within migrant communities were elaborated. The paper concludes with a discussion on the implications of the findings with regard to policy and research