Maya Turolla / Lisa Hoffmann
Canadian Journal of African Studies | 2023
What are the motivations for internal migration, and how do social relations influence the migration process? In answering these questions, this paper focuses on internal migration to Accra, the capital of Ghana. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 migrants in different areas of the city and analysed using narrative analysis. We found that livelihood and lifestyle dimensions work in tandem as motivations for migration. While the main reasons for moving to Accra, according to the interviewees, are related to livelihood, they are reflected and performed in culturally bound lifestyles. Furthermore, while social relations are rarely the main motivator to migrate, the social networks of migrants constitute an important enabling (or disabling) factor in shaping both livelihood and lifestyle dimensions of the migration process. Finally, we found that different ties – including emotional and economic – have different meanings across the migrants’ social network throughout the migration process.
Canadian Journal of African Studies