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19 March 2018

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Truck packed with migrants heading to Libya passes Agadez, Niger. © IOM

How African Governments Can Tackle the Migration Crisis

By Gerald Chirinda, Guest contributor

It is estimated that in 2015, 15 million African-born migrants were living outside the continent. In the past few years, thousands have risked their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea bound for Europe, in search of better opportunities. Tragically, many of them only get as far as the Sahara Desert or the middle of the sea where they, unfortunately, meet their demise.

The main factor driving this migration is simply the failure of their governments to provide them with opportunities within their countries of origin. I lament most African government’s overdependence on aid or some form of assistance from the western world; and worry that there is no end in sight.

African governments often make policies within their countries with the expectation of assistance from the developed world. This kind of thinking and behaviour has crippled our societies. Aid or assistance is not wrong, especially when there is real need, emanating mostly from catastrophes and natural disasters. The pattern in Africa has, however, seen some leaders neglecting their responsibility to serve their communities by failing to create environments that allow their people to thrive.

Several decades after attaining independence from colonial rule, some African nations are still failing to manage their own budgets and are helplessly watching their people wallow in poverty, while many lose their lives due to poorly resourced service facilities, such as healthcare institutions.

[Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Organization for Migration (IOM)]

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Migration in the News


  • Bangladesh’s The Daily Observer, UNB, The Bangladesh Today reported that IOM is appealing for USD 182.1 million from the international community to support Rohingya refugees and local community members in Cox's Bazar, particularly during the monsoon season.
     
  • Papua New Guinea’s Post Courier reported that IOM teams are now working with the government and partners to assess the full impact of the recent earthquake in the five affected provinces in the island nation.
     
  • Catholic News Agency reported that Pope Francis encouraged dialogue with government leaders to help migrants and set free those who today are oppressed, rejected and enslaved.
     
  • DPA reported that at least 14 migrants, including four children, drowned on Saturday when their wooden boat capsized during an attempt to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Agathonisi.
     
  • The Daily Beast reported about Nigerian women who are caught up in the sex-slave racket in Italy.
     
  • Nigeria’s Graphic reported that journalists and media practitioners have been urged to use social media tools to enhance their reportage on migration-related issues.
     
  • IPS reported that the life of the average migrant or refugee has largely turned out to be an unmitigated nightmare. The reporter talked about the Global Compact on Migration which covers a wide range of issues concerning migrants and refugees.
     
  • UK’s This is Wiltshire shared the story of a Syrian optician who battled bombs, snipers and spiraling inflation to make the best glasses in war-torn Afrin.
     
  • New Statesman reported that poor nations such as Bangladesh are especially vulnerable to rising sea levels but the West’s prime real estate hotspots are also at risk.

Trending on the Internet


  • The Atlantic reported that Netflix's TV series ‘Collateral’ is framed as a police drama but is actually an interrogation of the refugee crisis in Europe.

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