Reconsidering the Concept of International Return in the African Context: The Place of Immobile Cognitive Return

06 June 2023 | 14:00 - 15:30 | Lennéstraße 6, Room 2.004

While migration broadly categorises return into voluntary and involuntary, this presentation argues that there is a more complex categorisation than this binary in the African context. The category of return of immobile migrants is a significant category to consider although their stories have not yet been told as migration scholars unravel the complexities of migration to include immobility discourse. The return of immobile migrants is those who at some point in their lives have ever dreamt of migrating and even pursued that migration project, but due to personal, emigration, and immigration factors among others, they decided to forget about their migration dream and resettle or reintegrate into the home country.

Some African migrants fall into this category, and unfortunately, while research and policy have ignored their presence, they play a significant role once they take the decision to resettle or reintegrate themselves into the continent. While we talk about return and development of voluntary and involuntary return migrants, we tend to forget this important group which also contributes immensely to the home country once they decide to readjust to the home country. The aim of this presentation is to examine the contribution of voluntary and involuntary returnees as well as the return of immobile migrants to Ghana’s development.




Prof. Dr. Mary Boatemaa Setrana

Director of the Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana


Dr. des. Maria Ullrich

Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, University of Bonn

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