Recession Pushes African Immigrants to Head Home

Many opt for slower, cheaper lifestyle
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 26, 2009 6:48 AM CDT
Kenyans in Kisumu, Western Kenya, Wednesday Nov. 5, 2008, celebrate the victory of president-elect Barack Obama in the American presidential election.   (AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale)
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(Newser) – The US recession is driving many middle-class African immigrants home, where life is slower and growth has lately pointed to a bright economic future, the Washington Post reports. Diaspora societies of immigrants say many members are planning to return to Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.“The people I know here work two or three jobs just to make ends meet, while in Kenya—despite its problems—people seem more happy,” says the head of one such association.

“You really can live on about $5 a day” in Kenya, notes a former immigrant to Texas who worked 17-hour days to meet mortgage payments before he moved back. He cites an added benefit: “When I was in the US, I was close to 300 pounds. Now, I'm like 200.”