Expectations and Challenges of Ethiopian Migrants: The Case of Selected Returnees in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The study aimed to explore the major challenges and expectations of return migrants in Ethiopia with emphasis on returnees in the case of Addis Ababa City Administration. Period wise, the scope of the study covers four years (2017 – 2020). The study also assessed the causes of migration and the reasons why migrants returned back to their home country. As an approach, the study used a mixed methods approach. A survey questionnaire was distributed to a total of 372 respondents and all of them were returned. For the qualitative data, an in depth interview with returnee migrants and key informants interview with selected officials in relevant public institutions and international organization working on migration was used. The study covered all the ten sub-cities of the Addis Ababa City Administration. Experts at Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs (BoLSA), Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and Ethiopia Diaspora Agency participated as samples in the qualitative data collection. Furthermore, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) also participated in the interview sessions. A total of 12 persons participated in the qualitative aspect of the data collection. Results and findings indicate that the major causes of migration in the City is lack of job opportunity due to high rate of unemployment, lack of food security which relates to extreme poverty and housing problem in Addis Ababa City Administration. Returnee migrants have been facing the same challenges they were facing prior to their migration and they stated that there is no more improvement from the time they left their home country in search of better life and opportunities for themselves and their family back home. The housing, food and lack of job opportunity, and transportation problem in the city are also the major findings of the research. The study found out that political unrest in the host country, lack of job opportunity and under payment or low salary, unfavorable environment or hot climate in the host country, and the COVID -19 pandemic are the main reasons why migrants returned back to their home county. It is recommended that The City Administration officials and other stakeholders should pay attention to the issue and address causes of migration by creating more opportunities and a fair, accessible system. Returnee migrants continue to experience challenges of unemployment and poverty. To tackle these problems, the City Administration should facilitate and support the reintegration program in coordination and collaboration with other stakeholders and the community.



Reasons Migration, Returnee migrants, Challenges, Expectations