The Socio-Economic Consequences of Migration: The Case of Returnees from Saudi Arabia to West Shoa Zone

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Addis Ababa University


Saudi Arabia has been the major destination for Ethiopian migrants since 2008. However, early in 2013 the country implemented a Nitaqat law that enforced to deport mass illegal migrants. The objective of this study is to describe the current socio-economic consequences of illegal migration returnees from Saudi-Arabia: the case of west Shoa Zone. Both primary and secondary data were collected using structured questioner, focus group discussion, in- depth interviews and published and unpublished documents. In the area study 315 returnees were registered. From the 315 returnees, 159 were selected by using a snow ball technique. Mixed research approach was used. While descriptive statistics was used to analyze quantitative data, thematic analysis method is used to analyze the qualitative data. The study revealed that factors such as economic motives, better job opportunities and comfortable life were the major reasons for migration. Most of the respondents went to Saudi Arabia, mainly, to improve their living standards through employment and to support their families due to the lack of work opportunity at home. Returnee emigrants had got various physical and psychological problems. Most of them borrowed money from others such as their parents, other family members and relatives for their travel to Saudi Arabia. The majority of the respondents aim to re-migrate to Saudi Arabia. As the registered respondents gave their responses, most of them got micro-finance and working support. Physical and physiological crisis is also a real problem for the returnee migrants. The majority of the emigrants do not have prior value for their social and cultural norms.