West African Migration Literature Review

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1.0 Background to the Study
Migration – as a necessary human activity – is as old as man himself. Its importance lies in the connection between it and development, when properly directed, managed and handled. The United Nations has equally noted that migration is a vital element in the development process. To this end, several conferences have held to discuss the issues arising from migrations and how these could be utilized to aid global development. Contemporary studies have shown that the more rapidly a population increases, the higher the desire of people to change from one environment to the other. In modern times however, migrations are “migrations of labour, not of people” (Amin, 1995). Thus, migrants in the modern day sense, simply
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Mabogunje (1972), the author discusses the social and economic aspects of regional mobility in West Africa, in pre-colonial, colonial and modern times. The author puts forward two thought provoking arguments: “that the goals of economic development and national integration can best be achieved by strengthening the competitive position of the host peoples, vis-à-vis the migrants…” and that regional mobility, as opposed to development programs imported from abroad, “represents a uniquely West African approach to the area’s social, economic and political problems.”
While all these academic works are uniquely helpful in understanding the rationale, causes and courses of modern day migrations, none is directed specifically to the food culture of migrants and how this can be utilized to strengthen cross-cultural friendship and harmonious relationships among indigenous African people. Even a study of the comprehensive published Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia by Ken Albala revealed a huge gap in that, the Ewe Speaking people of West Africa were never mentioned in its several chapters dedicated to the Continent. This is a phenomenal omission as the Ewe are renowned cooks, chefs and food impresario in West Africa.
These gaps are what this research study hope to fill by mapping the food culture of the Ewe speaking migrants in
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Records show that in 1900, the ratio of the average income of the five richest countries in the world to the 5-10 poorest countries was about 9:1. One hundred years later, that ratio is 100:1 (www.weareoneamerica.org/root-causes-migration-fact-sheet). These inequalities among countries coupled with limited opportunities for employment that provides adequate incomes to cater for families has stimulated increased migration from developing to developed nations. It was reported that between 2000 and 2005, the developed economies of the world welcomed an estimated 2.6 million migrants annually from the developing nations (https://www.weareoneamerica.org).
The relative ease of global mobility allows people to migrate to far places globally. The factors that cause people to migrate from one country to another can be grouped under either of ‘pull’ or ‘push’ factors. They include social, political and economic factors. The push factor includes discrimination, warfare, poverty, natural disasters, religious persecution and political

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