Saturday, March 22, 2008

Stating the Obvious

If West African governments are serious about reducing migration from their countries they must invest in improving living conditions and reducing inequality, according to sociologists, economists and other experts .

"The distribution of economic gains is still largely inequitable, leaving the vast majority of the people below the poverty line," the UN's African Institute for Economic Development and Planning , Aloysius Ajab Amin told participants, blaming economic policies that are failing people in much of sub-Saharan Africa. Amin said youths across the continent lived in "misery" caused by soaring unemployment and inadequate basic infrastructure while seeing their peers who have migrated sending money back home. "What readily comes to their mind is how to join the migration train."

Abdoulaye Kane, of the University of Florida's Centre for African Studies, said he was concerned that in many societies in the Sahel region of West Africa where migration has become the norm, other options were dissolving. "If you go to the border area of Senegal, Mali and Mauritania now you have a whole social pressure on young people to move, to migrate, to go out, because it's seen as the only way to succeed socially speaking . People are now saying you don't need to go to school, because they compare those who went to school and those who have migrated in terms of their buying power."

Sociologist Ba said:-
"Migration is a reaction to scarcity..."

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