Wa — migration by northners to urban areas
The Network of Alumni of the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) in Ghana, on Friday, commenced a two-day workshop here in the Upper West Region to deliberate on issues around rural-urban migration particularly by migrants from the northern part of country to the south.
The deliberation was geared towards igniting new ideas that would contribute to reducing rural-urban migration as well as maximise the benefits of north-south migration.
The DAAD Alumni Network is made up of scholars and students from developing countries that pursued various academic programmes at universities in Germany with funding from the German Federal government.
Addressing the participants who were drawn from across the country, the convener of the meeting, Professor Kennedy Alatinga noted that the theme for the workshop which said “Curbing rapid rural-urban migration: the role of DAAD Alumni Network in bridging rural-urban divides in Ghana” was carefully chosen to reflect the current happenings in the context of internal migration in the country.
He explained that the focus was on migration of persons from the north to southern part of the country to seek better socio-economic opportunities, including jobs and said even though migration in itself was not entirely bad, there was the need for studies around areas that would ignite debate on access to quality social services by migrants such as health and education.
“Among these migrants are young women and girls as young as 10 years who go to the south to work as head porters in order to escape poverty as they seek to raise money to either pay for their school fees or send home for the upkeep of the family,” he said.
Prof. Alatinga who is the Dean of the Faculty of Planning and Land Management at the Simon DiedongDombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS) explained however that due to improper planning in urban areas, some of these girls unfortunately ended up in worse predicaments as a result of the harsh conditions they were met with in the cities which often led to unplanned pregnancies and school dropout cases.
“In this regard also, it will be interesting to learn how science and technology could be effective tools to decelerate rural-urban migration in Ghana and also develop an Alumni network project on migration with focus on ‘Rapid urbanization and the challenges of health infrastructure and services in Ghana’ in collaboration with German development organisations,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor of the SDD-UBIDS, Professor Philip DukuOseiin his address said migration was very relevant for the development of regions and nations at large but indicated that if it was not carefully planned, it would lead to development of urban towns and popular destinations of migrants to the detriment of the other areas.
Tracing the history of migration to the colonial days, Professor Osei explained that no development would have happened without people migrating from one location to the other.
He therefore encouraged the researchers to thoroughly deliberate on the issue and come up with proposals around the subject and the gaps that existed in studies around migration for informed policies.