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Migration As Partial Solution To Africa’s Dev’t

Horrible tales of Africans dying at sea as they struggle on the perilous journey in search of greener pasture in Europe have kept many wondering and scared. Yet, there is a positive side to migration. But those who place their lives at risk without regular papers are simply involved in illegal migration. This is obviously where the issue hurts but when people subject themselves to the demanding procedures to move from their land of origin to look for better days abroad. The results can be enticing and there are several visible instances of citizens across Africa who have successfully changed their family narrative thanks to their being in Europe, the United States of America, Asia or other parts of the world. As far back as 30 March, 2011, the African Development Bank (AfDB) presented findings which stated that, about 30 million Africans live outside their home countries and that migration is a vital lifeline for the continent. Yet, African governments need to do more to realize the full economic benefits of the phenomenon. While recent moves to create the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons and the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market raised hopes for intra- African migration for the socio-economic transformation of the continent, many still think that the options in the Western world remain more attractive. Although illegal immigration and the dramatic images of children, youth, pregnant women and other able young men drowning at sea have taken centre stage in media reporting to show the negative aspects of migrants, there are equally lofty stories of lives having been transformed in Africa thanks to migration. The Economic Development in Africa Report 2018 entitled “Migration for Structural Transformation” presents migration as beneficial to both origin and destination countries. The report argues that African migration can play a key role in the structural transformation of the continent’s economies and if well-managed, migration also provides an important means for helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, both in Africa and beyond. The interface between migration, trade and economic development can best be seen through the presence of businesses set up across Africa, thanks to relatives abroad, the queues in front of money transfer services for remittances from abroad, to daily demonstration of affluence by those who have had the opportunity to settle in foreign countries. Thus, multilateral efforts by African Governments through the African Union’s Migration Policy Framework and the provisions for Labour Mobility and Free Movement of People in Africa as well as the United Nations global compact for migration, all provide form and the bases for hope that the woes of African migration are marginal compared to the economic benefits. That notwithstanding, the issues will still have to be broken down to enable those keen on looking across their borders for greener pasture to do so within a regulated framework free of hazards like what has regularly been observed in the Sahara Desert within the last few years.

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