"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


the reality of reverse migration

It does happen. The growth of the middle class (and accompanying amenities like internet access, mortgage loans, and cheap automobiles) in places like Nairobi and Accra means that returning to some African countries from the west isn't as unthinkable as it used to be:
"While that may seem counterintuitive to Americans accustomed to bleaker images of Africa, recent studies have documented the flight of immigrant professionals from the United States to their home countries. Chinese and Indian workers increasingly say they see better opportunities and lifestyles at home. And diaspora associations of Nigerians, Ghanaians, Kenyans and other Africans say their members -- mostly from middle-class backgrounds -- are joining the exodus, choosing life in the land of slow Internet connections and power outages over the pressures of recession-era America.

"...In a broad sense, the return migration to Africa is in line with studies suggesting that despite persistent poverty and civil unrest in places such as Congo, Somalia and Sudan, much of the continent has been buoyed in recent years by a sense of optimism driven by economic growth. Pew Research Center studies tracking global attitudes have found that people's level of satisfaction with their quality of life is rising across much of Africa, while it has stayed level or decreased in the United States."
Note that while the author frames this phenomenon as a direct response to the current recession, the subject of her story mostly cites issues that have little to do with the downturn. He and his wife returned to Kenya because of fears about the values their children were learning in America, their health, and the safety of their family, as well as the hectic nature and expense of life in the United States. Seems a healthy life on the shores of Lake Victoria won out over worry in the Dallas suburbs.


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