n Africa Insight - Migration and regional integration in West Africa A borderless ECOWAS, Adebusuyi Isaac Adeniran - book review

Volume 48 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


This book explores the relationship between migration and regional integration in West Africa. Adebusuyi Isaac Adeniran uses the example of the Ejigbo-Yoruba, who migrate to Côte d’Ivoire in the Nigerian-Ivorian migratory corridor, to illustrate the contribution of informal migration to the realisation of a regionally integrated Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The book consists of eight chapters, in which this relationship is examined. The introduction operationalises the ideas and concepts used in the book through a glossary. The first chapter then asks the question, ‘Why a borderless ECOWAS?’ Adeniran attempts to answer this question by discussing French colonial policies in West Africa, and the way in which they favored immigrants from other countries in the region like Nigeria. The immigrants enjoyed all the benefits of citizenship, and Adeniran argues that this false ‘generosity’ was only used to recruit manpower for the cocoa and coffee plantations. Adeniran also paints a clear picture of the migration boom that occurred in post-independence Côte d’Ivoire. The boom occurred under President Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s rule, because his migration policies did not differ from those of the colonisers. According to Adeniran, it was during this period (1960-1990) that the migration of the Ejigbo-Yoruba people was cemented.

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