African Traditional Religion and Trans-Saharan Migration from Ghana

The Role of Nkoranza Deities in Youth Migration to Libya

In: African Diaspora
Seth Tweneboah University of Education Centre for Conflict, Human Rights and Peace Studies Ghana Winneba

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Edmond Akwasi Agyeman University of Education Centre for African Studies Ghana Winneba

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This paper interrogates an unexamined component of the religion-migration nexus in Ghana. Using African Traditional Religion as a case in point, the paper examines the function shrines play in sustaining youth migration to Libya and across the Mediterranean to Europe. The paper relies on interviews and fieldtrips to migrant sending communities in the Nkoranza area of the Bono East region of central Ghana. The paper gives an account of the daily realities of prospective migrants, returnees and their families. Among other key findings, it is shown that there is an intricate connection between youth migration, the family system and the deities in sustaining the trans-Saharan migration. This migration, we observe, has become a livelihood strategy, the perpetuation of which reassures the survival of not only the people, but their gods as well.

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