Imanche, Sunday Adiyoh (PhD)
The migratory tendencies of African individuals originating from Nigeria and adjacent nations to the United States. Nigeria, however, holds the distinction of being the most populous nation in Africa and boasts a substantial and varied diaspora. A significant number of Nigerians immigrate to the United States for educational, career, and familial purposes. Nigeria is the primary origin of the highest number of African immigrants in the United States, with around 376,000 residents born in Nigeria in 2019.
Although there have been changes and problems in recent years, the US and Nigeria’s international relations are usually favorable and amicable. Nigeria and the US work together on several subjects, including commerce, development, democracy, health, and security. Nigeria is the main supplier of immigrants from Africa to the US, while the US is one of Nigeria’s biggest commercial partners and benefactors.
the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects, terrorism and insecurity threats, the necessity of economic diversification and growth, and the significance of free and fair elections are also issues that the US and Nigeria must deal with. Nigeria’s efforts to overcome these obstacles and realize its potential as a regional and international leader are supported by the US. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken reconfirmed the strategic relationship and friendship between the two nations during a virtual visit to Nigeria in April 2023, and with a follow-up visit recently to the current Nigerian president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in January 2024.
However, the subsequent causes have been highlighted as the main catalysts behind the recent surge in Nigerian migration to the United States. The causes are as highlighted below:
Economic prospects: Numerous Nigerians emigrate to the United States in pursuit of enhanced economic opportunities. The United States of America is renowned for its robust economy and labor market, which entices individuals in pursuit of higher income and improved living standards.
Education: The United States is host to numerous renowned universities and educational establishments. Nigerians frequently emigrate to the United States in order to seek advanced education and avail themselves of high-quality educational and research prospects. The number of Nigerian students studying in the USA in 2019 was reported to be 12,900.
Political stability: Nigeria has had prolonged periods of political instability and pervasive corruption throughout its history. Certain Nigerians emigrate to the United States in order to evade these difficulties and pursue a more secure political atmosphere.
Security concerns in Nigeria encompass a range of issues, such as terrorism, kidnapping, and communal disputes. A number of Nigerians emigrate to the United States in order to pursue safety and security for themselves and their family. In Nigeria, the presence of political, economic, and social issues is leading to a surge in violence and loss of life. Multiple belligerent factions are currently operational within the nation, resulting in assaults on both noncombatant and military objectives. Boko Haram, an affiliate of the Islamic State, is the most lethal terrorist organization. Between 2011 and 2023, there were more than 22.9 thousand fatalities resulting from clashes between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government.
Family reunification: Nigerians with existing family members in the USA are eligible to move for the purpose of reuniting with their loved ones. Migration for the sake of family reunification is a widespread phenomenon globally.
Healthcare: The United States possesses sophisticated healthcare facilities and cutting-edge medical technologies. Nigerians may choose to emigrate to the USA in order to benefit themselves of superior healthcare facilities and treatments that may be lacking in Nigeria.
Quality of life: The United States provides a superior level of living in terms of infrastructure, amenities, and social services. Nigerians may emigrate to the United States in order to enhance their standard of living and offer superior prospects for their family.
The United States is renowned for its entrepreneurial culture and favorable business environment. Nigerians may emigrate to the United States in order to establish or broaden their enterprises and capitalize on the available prospects.
Cultural interaction and diversity: The United States of America is a heterogeneous nation, comprising individuals from varied backgrounds and cultures. Nigerians may immigrate to the United States in order to engage in cultural exchange, acquire diverse perspectives, and expand their intellectual and cultural horizons.
Enhanced governance and strict adherence to the rule of law: The United States is renowned for its robust governance mechanisms and unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law. Nigerians may emigrate to the USA in order to encounter a government that is characterized by greater transparency and accountability.
Cameroon is a bilingual country with an ongoing conflict between its Anglophone and Francophone regions. A substantial proportion of individuals from English-speaking districts of Cameroon have chosen to flee as a result of the widespread violence and tyranny. They are seeking asylum in neighboring countries such as Nigeria or the United States. In 2019, the United States had an estimated population of around 110,000 individuals who were native to Cameroon.
The US and Cameroon have strained their relationship due to human rights violations and political repression. The US supports Cameroon’s public health efforts but has expressed disapproval of human rights abuses in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest Regions. The US has placed sanctions on Cameroonian officials and stopped supporting the military and administration.
Cameroonians journey to the United States for various purposes.
Economic prospects: Numerous Cameroonians emigrate to the United States in pursuit of enhanced economic opportunities. The United States of America is renowned for its robust economy and labor market, offering Cameroonians the opportunity to secure higher-paying employment and achieve an elevated level of living.
Education: The United States is host to several of the most exceptional universities and colleges globally. A significant number of Cameroonians travel to the United States to pursue higher education and obtaining access to high-quality educational opportunities that can facilitate their professional advancement.
Cameroon’s political instability has led to violence and insecurity, causing many to flee to the US. The Anglophone crisis marks the end of conflict between Anglophone and French-speaking communities. Violence has killed over 6,000 people, forced over one million to leave their homes, and left around two million in need of aid.
Also, Family reunification, Cultural exchange, and Health care: The United States possesses one of the most exceptional healthcare systems globally. A significant number of Cameroonians emigrate to the United States to avail themselves of high-quality healthcare treatments that may be lacking in Cameroon.
Entrepreneurship: The United States is renowned for its enterprising mindset and conducive business climate. A significant number of Cameroonians immigrate to the United States to establish their own enterprises and capitalize on the available prospects.
Migration is a multifaceted process that is influenced by a multitude of circumstances, and individual motivations can differ. Although the United States has stringent immigration restrictions, the tenacity of African migrants remains concerning.