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Can Africa halt the flight of its best resource: its people
Vimbai B Chinembiri on February 6, 2017 — 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. Can Africa halt the flight of its best resource: its people.
File picture: Migrants from African origin rest in a room at the Interior ministry’s al-Nasr housing center for illegal immigrants on August 31, 2016 in the port city of Zawiyah, located some 45 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli.
Thousands of migrants are “racing against the clock” to make the perilous crossing from Libya to Europe before summer ends, with authorities in the conflict-torn country at a loss to stem the flow. Photo: AFP/MAHMUD TURKIA
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.
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’.
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’?