One the greatest challenges facing Africa today is migration. Among the major causes of voluntary movements of populations between national and International borders in recent years is the growing disparities in development globally. The United Nations (UN) reports that, the number of international migrants, people living in a country other than where they were born, reached 244 million in 2015 globally, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2000.

According to Wu Hongbo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, “Well-managed migration brings important benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants and their families”. However, many of our brothers and sisters risk death while attempting to move abroad.

African migrants react after crossing the border fence between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave of Ceuta, December 9, 2016. REUTERS/M. MartinFOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
African migrants react after crossing the border fence between Morocco and Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta, December 9, 2016. REUTERS/M. MartinFOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

While poverty, search for better educational opportunities and political instability are driving forces for people leaving the continent, analysts argue that besides these factors, there’s a long held mentality that life is better abroad, blinding many to the possible opportunities at home.

There is no doubt that several lives have been improved by moving abroad and economically viable countries within the African continent. There are other lives that have been lost through illegal border movements and harsh living conditions in the ‘land of paradise’.

A man and child cross the border from Zimbabwe to South Africa to escape election violence in 2008. File photo. Times Live File Photo by James Oatway
A man and child cross the border from Zimbabwe to South Africa to escape election violence in 2008. File photo. Times Live File Photo by James Oatway

What can African governments do to retain their own people and ensure staying within their national borders becomes as appealing as other stable foreign nations? Is it possible for Africans to stay at ‘home’?

A Spanish Civil Guard pulls an African migrant from a border fence, as Spanish Civil Guard officers stand underneath, during an attempt to cross into Spanish territories, between Morocco and Spain's north African enclave of Melilla October 15, 2014. Around 300 migrants attempted to cross the border into Spain and about 3 managed to pass the fence and are currently held at CETI, the short-stay immigrant centre, according to local authorities. Photo credit: Reuters / Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda — in Ciudad De Melilla, Andalucia, Spain.
A Spanish Civil Guard pulls an African migrant from a border fence, as Spanish Civil Guard officers stand underneath, during an attempt to cross into Spanish territories, between Morocco and Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla October 15, 2014. Around 300 migrants attempted to cross the border into Spain and about 3 managed to pass the fence and are currently held at CETI, the short-stay immigrant centre, according to local authorities. Photo credit: Reuters / Jesus Blasco de Avellaneda — in Ciudad De Melilla, Andalucia, Spain.
African asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea, take part in a protest against Israel's deportation policy in front of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem on January 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON
African asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea, take part in a protest against Israel’s deportation policy in front of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem on January 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON
A Zimbabwean woman with her child on her back flees across the border into South Africa at Beitbridge. Border Post. Photo Credit Themba Hadebe/Associated Press
A Zimbabwean woman with her child on her back flees across the border into South Africa at Beitbridge. Border Post. Photo Credit Themba Hadebe/Associated Press
2016-10-03 20:58:23 Migrants from African origin wait at the port in the Libyan town of Garabulli, east of Tripoli, on October 3, 2016 after they were rescued by the Libyan coast guard police as their small boat capsized. Two children and nine women died on when a small boat carrying migrants to Italy capsized off the shore of Libya, a coastguard official said. The official, who asked not to be identified, told AFP the victims were among 160 people crammed aboard the boat that went down off Garabulli. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA
Migrants from African origin wait at the port in the Libyan town of Garabulli, east of Tripoli, on October 3, 2016 after they were rescued by the Libyan coast guard police as their small boat capsized. Two children and nine women died on when a small boat carrying migrants to Italy capsized off the shore of Libya, a coastguard official said. The official, who asked not to be identified, told AFP the victims were among 160 people crammed aboard the boat that went down off Garabulli. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA