Skilled Gambian migrants: how embeddedness theory can explain their decision to stay abroad or leave
AbstractBackground: The aim of this study was to explore why skilled Gambians go abroad and why under similar circumstances some return while others do not. Methods: 41 skilled Gambians both in The Gambia and abroad were interviewed about their decisions to stay abroad or not. Nvivo software was used to test for associations between home/host country embeddedness and the decision to stay abroad or not. Results: Most skilled Gambians go abroad to pursue education or look for greener pastures, but they all have the financial ability to travel. However, their eventual return is associated with their degree of home/host country embeddedness. Those with the highest level of host country embeddedness tend to stay abroad while those with highest level of home embeddedness are more likely to return home. Conclusion: When considering strategies to counter skilled Gambian migration, the Gambian government must consider their degree of home/host country embeddedness to facilitate the eventual return of its skilled people.
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