Yoruba Traders in Cote D’Ivoire: A Study of the Role Migrant Settlers in the Process of Economic Relations in West Africa
AbstractThe bid to relocate into an alien territory is usually anchored on the
migrant’s hope for better fortunes or prospects. The independence
government in several West African countries could not meet the high
expectations of their citizens. There were also political and economic
problems which made members of the commercial class to feel not secured in their own states. The tales of better economic fortunes in neighbouring countries provided attraction to those in this category, including Yoruba traders, who were naturally desirous of migration. The Yoruba traders of Southwestern Nigeria present an important alien commercial class in Cote d’Ivoire, and some other west African states. This study evaluates some of the major economic activities such as agriculture, trade, commerce and industrial activities that have for some decades engaged the services of Yoruba traders in Ivory Coast. It assesses the various pull and push factors in the migration, the social and political situation in both countries, government economic policies at specific periods, and the aspirations of Yoruba migrants’ settlers. It also reflects on how the current political crisis in Ivory Coast has affected Yoruba traders especially as the conflict has forced many of them back to Nigeria. The study concludes that the enterprising nature of Yoruba migrant traders had made them influence positively the Ivorian economy.
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