In West Africa, the large majority of people move in the region. Now this South–South migration is seven times greater than migration flows from West African countries to other parts of the world. Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria have become important countries of destination hosting large numbers of migrants who mostly migrated to work. This regional migration plays a crucial role in promoting development and poverty reduction. It also contributes to the regional integration process in West Africa and strengthens the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) established in 1975 which covers 5.1 million square kilometres and is composed of 15 Member States (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo).
These developments, the positive effects of migration for all involved and migration flows directed towards countries in the South are often overlooked in the media. Instead, West Africa has attracted widespread media attention on migration flows towards Europe and their inherent tragedies.
This publication has been issued without formal editing by IOM.