Traditionally, for those who left countries like Ghana to study abroad the expectation was that they would stay in the countries where they’d gone to school, build careers, build families and return once they were ready to retire and leave the hustle and bustle of the Western World.
This tradition however appears to have changed over time. It started with our parent’s generation, they began to move back mid-career often time bringing their families back with them to continue to develop their careers. I am a part of this group, my parents moved back to Ghana just as I transitioned into middle school and have lived there ever since. With our generation however, the move back home seems to be happening much earlier. Many of those graduating from schools abroad are either choosing to move back as soon as they graduate and for those that do choose to stay longer, they limit the time that they spend abroad far more than our parents ever did. What exactly has prompted this trend?
One part I believe is increased political stability, deregulation and an improvement in the climate for businesses in countries like Ghana. This has meant that more of those choosing to move back to their countries of origin can start their own businesses or work for the multinationals that have begun to open offices there. As a result they can build their careers and access opportunities that are comparable to what they would have been able to gain exposure to abroad, in terms of professional development and experience.
The second reason, is the economic crisis experienced by many industrialized countries over the last few years. Many of the traditional opportunities in fields like finance and consulting are just not as abundant and as a result many people are being pushed to look for alternatives.
Whatever their reasons are for moving back, their goals are similar, contributing to the growth and development of their respective home countries. It will be interesting to observe over the next few years the role that this reverse migration will play.
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