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A new official report by the Future of Ghana, with the Ghana High Commission UK, highlighting the main socio-economic factors that are changing the face of development and migration has been outdored.
According to the highlights of the report, African and Diasporan youth are becoming part of the economic growth that can uplift the Continent and address issues of uncontrolled migration, North-South relations and identity, among others.
In view of the act that businesses are increasingly looking at the African continent to expand, the report provides global firms with the framework on how to capitalize on youthful, buoyant population, boost economic growth across the region and create sustainable jobs to match this boom.
Ghana has been feted by many analysts as one of the world’s fastest growing economies and according to President Nana Akufo-Addo “the country is positioning itself as a beacon of stability and economic success in the region and to inspire Africa beyond aid”. However, it is important to constructively discuss changes, engagement and the participation of its youth in the country and across the Diaspora.
The Second Generation Diaspora Report, which was officially released on Wednesday March 21, 2018 has found that it is vital for the country’s economic transformation that women and youth are given access to financial and healthcare services that’ll increase their capacity to contribute to the economy,
Highlights of the official report, including key findings and statistics can be found below.
This report is a pilot study in an upcoming country study series on second-generation Ghanaian diaspora groups. The purpose of this study is to provide insight to support diaspora organisations, international organisations, governments and related agencies in understanding the remittance practices of second-generation British-Ghanaians. By gathering the practices, views and opinions of second-generation British-Ghanaians, this study aims to provide a starting point for relevant stakeholders and researchers to understand the background, motivation and intentions of second-generation British-Ghanaians to remit, its potential long-term implications for diaspora relations and engagement, policy formulation and the socio-economic development of Ghana.
This study recognises the increasing attention given to diaspora agendas and contributions to their country of origin and wishes to contribute to an evidence-based dialogue on this. The aim of this report is to:
- Review literature and draw on ideas and observations from existing research
- Begin to build a profile of second-generation British-Ghanaians
- Identify the ways in which second-generation British-Ghanaians engage/wish to engage with Ghana as well as opportunities and challenges for engagement
- Recommend ways in which diaspora organisations, international organisations, the Ghanaian government and other development partners can help facilitate this desire to engage.
The study employed mixed methods design and took place from July 2017-November 2017. The three phases of the study were a desk-based literature review, online survey, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. 493 respondents participated in the online survey. Five focus group discussions (FGD) took place and consisted of 25 participants in total. For key informant interviews, eight participants took part.
- The dominant form of engagement among second-generation British-Ghanaians is social remittance, however, a significant proportion also remit financially
Close to half of our survey respondents remit socially. Examples varied from blogs, tourism websites, teacher training and running advocacy focused organisations. Interestingly, almost a third of second-generation British-Ghanaians remit financially but are more driven by investments and reciprocal returns as opposed to their parents who may remit out of duty, community and obligation. The average amount remitted is £101-£300 on a monthly basis (or every other month) though some participants remit £1000+ on a monthly basis. Age, gender and salary bear no impact on the amount people remit i.e. those in lower income brackets are as likely to remit as those in higher salary brackets, but identity does have an impact. Those who self-identify as British are least likely to remit. Those who identify as British-Ghanaian are most likely to remit.
- Identity is the most powerful determinant of how second-generation British-Ghanaians engage or do not engage with Ghana
Identity is complex and manifests as such in predicting behaviour and engagement practices. Our data shows that how participants self-identify strongly correlates with their proclivity to remit financially. Language fluency and a strong sense of cultural identity are the strongest predictors of sending social remittances and those who do not speak a Ghanaian language are significantly less likely to engage in social remittances. Beyond these observable relationships, the issue of identity found in this study extends to situational identity, language, upbringing and social conditioning, the wider notion of Pan-Africanism and African diasporas as collective, the experience of mixed-heritage Ghanaians and integration into British society in comparison to first-generation Ghanaians. Whilst this was beyond the scope of the report, the prominence of this theme throughout each stage of the study necessitates further research. After identity, lack of available information, contacts and pathways to engage represented the biggest obstacle to engagement. Less than 10% of respondents stated that they had no desire to engage with Ghana.
- Profile of who is most likely to remit
According to our data, in terms of financial remittances, she is female, identifies as British-Ghanaian, is between 25 – 34 years old and earns between £31,000 – £40,000. She speaks at least one Ghanaian language and works in the corporate world, namely business consulting and management. She does not belong to any diaspora group and remits socially also but only half of the time.
In terms of social remittances, statistically speaking, she is female, identifies as British-Ghanaian, is between 18-24 years old and is a full-time student. She speaks at least one Ghanaian language and belongs to a diaspora group. She engages mainly through cultural activities and also remits financially but only half of the time.
- Education, health and entrepreneurship rank highly as areas of priority for second-generation British-Ghanaians Respondents ranked these three areas as priorities in terms of their interest in Ghana. Interest was largely rooted in concern for quality of life, empowerment and development for all Ghanaians however participants did appreciate the complexity of these issues – namely education and health. There was a consensus that entrepreneurship was the area they felt they could contribute to the most.
- The overwhelming majority of participants would consider relocating to Ghana
84% of participants wish to relocate to Ghana at some point in the future with just over 40% planning to do so within the next 5-10 years. In addition to this, many are already engaging with Ghana remotely and with frequent visits.
- Almost two thirds of survey respondents do not belong to a diaspora organisation/network
Only 38% of respondents belong to diaspora organisation or network. Irrespective of this, many second-generation British-Ghanaians engage with Ghana via financial and social remittances though the proportion who do so is lower than those who are members of a diaspora organisation. Our results also found that membership of a diaspora organisation increases the likelihood of an individual remitting socially but has little effect on financial remittances.