Assessing the Impact of Refugees on the Political Economy of Ghana: The Case of Budumburam Refugee Camp

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Date

2020-10

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Publisher

University of Ghana

Abstract

Prior literature provides evidence that refugees affect host communities in several respects. This study extends existing research by examining the economic and political impact of refugees hosting in the context of Buduburam refugee camp in the Gomoa East District of Ghana. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative research approaches. A total of 100 respondents made up of households in the studied area were used for the study. Respondents were selected using purposive sampling strategy. Both questionnaires and interviews were utilized as the research instruments of data collection. Data collected in the study was analysed using descriptive statistics such as simple percentages and mean scores as well as Relative Importance Index (RII) and thematic narration. The results of the study demonstrate that refugees pose both positive and negative impacts on the host community in Buduburam. With regards to the positive impact of refugees, the study finds that refugees’ presence in Buduburam has led to stimulation of local commerce, attraction of international organizations that bring in resources, and inflow of remittances that boost commerce. With regards to the negative impact of refugees on host communities, the study finds that refugees' presence leads to deterioration of living conditions, puts strain on resources, leads to inflationary pressures and puts pressure on resources like warehousing, roads and land and pressure on jobs. The results of the study, however, revealed that refugees do not pose any significant political impact on the studied host community. From a policy and practical standpoint, the study recommends that governments, local authorities and the international community should pursue strategies for the development of the host community in order to improve the livelihoods of people in the host community and also improve the relationship of host communities and the refugee population. Among other things, these should include improving access to water, equipping refugee camps with food and water security, easing restrictions on refugees especially restrictions on movement and employment so as to maximize the positive effect of refugees’ presence and involving hosts in the management of refugees.

Description

MPhil. Political Science

Keywords

Refugees, Political Economy, Ghana, Budumburam Refugee Camp, Gomoa East District, Relative Importance Index (RII)

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