Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Pavlos Kanaroglou

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The massive rural to urban migration in developing countries has been identified as the cause of the existence of squatter settlements in the neighboring urban areas. This thesis puts forward a comprehensive theoretical framework of the process that leads to the formation and growth of such settlements. It is argued that, under intense urbanization, the number of urban migrants far exceeds the capacity of the receiving city to provide sufficient employment and housing opportunities. A certain segment of migrants, especially those with low levels of skills, educational background and support in the city of destination are assimilated in the squatter area. Tema, an industrial and port city within the Great Accra Metropolitan Area of Ghana, and its associated squatter settlement of Ashaiman provide the test ground for this study. Analysis indicates that as the population of Ashaiman grew more and more urban migrants came directly to the settlement rather than through Tema. Socio-economic status of the respondent, particularly education level, occupation and income, were found to be crucial factors in the residential location decision of migrants. An equally important factor was ethnic ties in the city which influences both migration and urban residential location. The impact of the ethnic factor was found to reflect in the channels of information flow to prospective migrants, the sources and types of assistance provided to them on arrival in the city and their choice of a neighborhood in the settlement.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season