Nigerian immigrants as 'liminars' in Ghana, West Africa: narratives on mobility, immobility and borderlands

Thomas Antwi Bosiakoh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The mobility/immobility research frontier in migration scholarship has gained ascendancy since the beginning of this century with some studies highlighting the need for broader global trends in cross-border mobility/immobility research. This article on Nigerian immigrants as ‘liminars’in Ghana, West Africa, is an attempt to join the global cross-border mobility/immobility discourse on mobile people. It is anchored in the qualitative research tradition with the empirical data generated through in-depth interviews, observations and market conversations with 41 Nigerian immigrant entrepreneurs in Accra (the capital of Ghana), Kumasi (the second largest city after Accra) and Ashaiman (a sprawling sub-urban settlement). In a three-theme analysis approach, the paper shows three intersections in mobilities, immobilities and borderland accounts, namely mobility/borderland, trapped/living in a borderland space, and immobility in temporal-spatial borderland, and places the immigrants into a liminar category. This article is a contribution to understanding the mobility/immobility research frontier from the perspective of the global south and its impact on global southern ‘citizens’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-568
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • borderland
  • Ghana
  • liminar
  • mobility/immobility
  • Nigeria
  • West Africa


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