Workshop on Immigrant Integration in Ghana




University of Ghana, Accra
Twum-Barima Seminar Room

8 December 2010




While the integration of immigrants in industrialised countries has been widely surveyed, literature on migration-related integration in developing countries is rather sparse. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that immigrant integration issues are pertinent in Africa and thus raise the issue of social cohesion.

Immigration and social cohesion are naturally linked. Immigrants arrive in countries where often they do not speak the language, know the customs or have any direct social networks on which to rely. Their initial social exclusion may generate the incentive to form subgroups within society and live within enclaves. Such enclaves form the basis for pockets of extreme poverty leading to ghettos, the spreading of disease and resentment against society.

Social exclusion of immigrants is thus more about the challenge of lowering the incentives for such behaviour rather than pushing for assimilation. Achieving social cohesion while integrating immigrants into society means creating an environment of equal opportunity for immigrants to share and participate in the social, economic and political process of the country. Failure to integrate immigrants can lead to rises in inequality, lower productivity and eventually crime.

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together experts, field-practitioners, policy-makers, and representatives from the private sector and migrant associations to discuss existing policies and programmes facilitating the integration of immigrants, focusing on Ghana, a fast growing low-income country, where immigration from neighbouring West African countries is relatively significant and increasing.



The one-day workshop will be structured around the following topics:


Session I: What is the current state of immigration in Ghana?

The session will feature and discuss the following presentations:


1. Immigration into Ghana since 1990 - John Anarfi (University of Ghana)

2. Mining, Migration and National Development Objectives - Frank Nyame (University of Ghana)


Session II: What are the different dimensions of immigrant integration in Ghana?

The session will feature and discuss the following presentations:


1. Re-thinking Integration in the South - Jason Gagnon (OECD Development Centre)

2. Migrant home town associations (HTAs) in Ghana:Their role in migrant integration and the negotiation of labour market conditions in Ghana - Thomas Antwi-Bosiakoh (University of Ghana)


Session III: What policies foster integration in Ghana and what are their limits?

How can the situation be improved for both immigrants and nationals?

This session will consist of a roundtable discussion lead by:


Stephen Kwankye (University of Ghana)
Elizabeth Adjei (Ghana Immigration Service)
P.P.D. Asima (Ghana Immigration Service)


Additionnal Information

For more information, please contact Jason Gagnon ([email protected]) or David Khoudour-Castéras ([email protected])



Funding for this project has been made possible by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


Related Documents