Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Need a life , Will travel

Migration has been an essential mechanism for survival in the harsh climate and erratic agricultural conditions of the Sahara and Sahel regions for as long as people have lived there.

Tens of thousands from Niger work in Libya. Between 65,000 and 120,000 sub-Saharan Africans enter the Maghreb (Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya) yearly, according to estimates collated by Hein de Haas, a researcher at the International Migration Institute at Oxford University. The money they send back to Niger forms a major part of Niger's economy. Official remittances in 2005 totalled some US$60 million, according to the World Bank, with undocumented remittances to Niger believed to be even higher. This report describes the futility of discouraging migration

"Living in Tripoli means accepting all kinds of inhuman and degrading treatment: Libya is a land of all kinds of discrimination between people; it is not a welcoming place, and that's why I have taken the chance to come back to Niger"

International Organisation for Migration spokeswoman for West Africa Jo-Lind Roberts added that only once people have arrived in their destinations do they find out there are very few opportunities for them. "And that's also something that only someone who has tried to cross either by sea or desert has experienced. People here [in West Africa] have no idea about the lack of opportunity when they travel."

"Providing information to people is fine, especially so they are aware of the very present dangers," said Hein de Haas, a researcher at the International Migration Institute at Oxford University. But he noted: "These campaigns portray migrants as victims and as vulnerable people who don't know what they are doing. Based on my own experience interviewing migrants I don't have that impression,"

In his view migration is an economic imperative for many Africans. "The fact remains that the income gaps between sub-Saharan Africa, north Africa and Europe are huge, so the main rational for economic migration is still there."

Tens of thousands of people make dangerous boat journeys across the Atlantic to Europe each year, driven by poverty and a search for the relative wealth they see other successful migrants have achieved.
Pape Demba Fall, a senior researcher focused on migration at Cheikh Ante Diop University in the capital Dakar said . "It should not be forgotten that people who choose to leave are already well aware of the risks," he said. "They know it very well, they have seen it themselves, but that doesn't change their minds, and that is shown by the fact that more not less people are migrating every year from Senegal."

The IOM estimates that 31,000 people attempted the journey to Europe by sea from Senegal in 2006, of whom some 6,000 died or went missing at sea.

To feed oneself , to provide for ones family , men and women will always seek other lands , and while the grass is still literally greener on the other side then men and women will endeavour to reach it . Only when it is possible to maintain an adequate living standard at home , will men and women stay at home . That is something Capitalism will never be able to offer many people throughout Africa

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

Forgot to add an interesting link to this item . Try reading

Border Crossing