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Opinions of Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Columnist: Agyei, Williams Kwame

“The judgement day”-to leave or stay

Migration deals with the movement of persons to a new area in order to find work. Usually the trend takes the form of rural- urban or developing to developed country migration. In time past people usually migrated as a result of wars, famine and other natural disasters. There are several factors which cause the youth of today to move from their homes to other communities. Most often young people are usually forced to migrate as a result of lack of opportunity for advancement in society, high rise in unemployment, peer influence, family and economic pressures.
One of the most common reasons that have been associated with youth migration in Ghana and for that matter African has to do with the unavailability of opportunities for advancement in the society. There is a high rise in the “get rich quick syndrome” among most Ghanaian youth, and as result this has resulted in the youth either migrating to developed countries to seek greener pastures in order to meet certain social status. Some of the destinations usually targeted by these youths are the Americas, Europe and recently some Asian countries.
With an upsurge in graduate unemployment in Ghana, it has resulted in some youths travelling to some developed countries to seek employment. Some of the courses pursed at the university level usually do not meet the needs of the current job market thereby forcing some youths to migrate to other countries where they think there would be a need for their service. Currently some investigations have shown that it takes averagely a minimum of five years for a Ghanaian graduate to secure his or her first stable job.
The youth who are able to migrate to developed countries are usually accorded some form of social recognition as they are perceived to be rich on their arrival to their home country. Most of such young people return home driving in cars and using some expensive appliances such as laptops, cameras, flat screen televisions among others. As a result of this, other peers are forced to migrate to seek greener pastures in order to meet such social standard or class set by their peers.
Harsh economic conditions such as high standard of living coupled with lack of basic necessities have also led to some youths migrating from their home country to seek employment elsewhere. The economic situation in most African countries tied with high rise in the cost of basic needs have also contributed somehow to the youth migrating to some well to do countries in search of better standards of living via healthcare and education.
Irrespective of whatever reason that the youth assign to their movement, the negative outcome usually outweighs the benefit they seek to attain. Many youths end up going through ordeals that even defeat their purpose of migrating. In Ghana there have been numerous stories of abuses that the youth go through in their quest to seek greener pastures in urban centres. Whilst some are usually sexually abuse and taken advantage of, others are forced to work in harsh physical conditions without being pay what is appropriately due them.
On the contrary some positive ties can be associated with some youths migrating to other countries. Majority of remittances to developing countries comes from youths who have migrated to developed countries to seek greener pastures. With the advent of the Credit Crunch and its resultant effect in the reduction of remittances to some African countries, it did have some form of adverse effects on their economy. Skills and other technological transfers have been made available through the efforts of some youths on their return to their mother country.
Through migration many Ghanaian youths have lost their lives on the Sahara Desert and on the Mediterranean seas in their quest to migrate to the shores of Spain. Comparing the magnanimity of the problems in which some go through before getting to their destinations one would wonder if such perilous adventures are worth embarking upon. The irony of the situation is that, whilst some youth refuse to see any opportunity in their society, and therefore eventually migrating to seek greener pastures, those who choose to stay behind usually make it.

By: Williams Kwame Agyei (CODGHA)