At Least a Million Sub-Saharan Africans Moved to Europe Since 2010,Sub-Saharan migration to the United States also keeps growing. Statistics from the World Bank, show that the main cause of that African mass migration is poverty. A literal move for greener pastures.
That exodus is a Calvary for most of those dream chasers; they risk their lives and a number of them die trying to reach the land of opportunities they would never have found in their home countries. Others live a nightmare on their way; they live in a situation not very different from Nazi’s concentration camps. Here we can give an example of the migrant situation in Libya,…
As an African, I really feel that pain and shame of fleeing your own home not because it is poor but just because you have been denied the opportunities by greedy leaders. This is explained by the fact that according to migrant population data from the United Nations; more than half (51%) of sub-Saharan African migrants living in the U.S. as of 2017 were born in just four countries: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya, all of them being among top 20 of the biggest economies on the continent. Which makes me emphasize that our continent is not poor but it is misled.
Africa has the richest concentration of natural resources such as oil, copper, diamonds, bauxite, lithium, gold, hardwood forests, and tropical fruits. It is estimated that 30% of the earth’s mineral resources are found in the African continent. Additionally, Africa has the world’s biggest precious metal reserves on earth. Despite the wealth of natural resources, Africa still lags behind in development due to corruption and resource mismanagement.
From 1960s when many of African countries have acquired their independence, people that have been in power most importantly in Sub-Saharan Africa, have worked hard not to serve their people and change their lives for better but to fill their overseas bank accounts!
Transparency international has shown that roughly 43% of Africans are living in poverty while over US$50 billion worth of stolen assets flow out of Africa every year. That’s the money that could be used to invest in jobs and social services, where additional resources are needed most.
However, it is not too late for African leaders to change that and make our continent a better place to be; the key is “good leadership” and “patriotism”. With these two, we can change the story of our countries and the continent in general!
Let me give you an example of my country to show you that with the willing and patriotic spirit everything can change. My country Rwanda, is a small, landlocked country, that 24 years ago were to disappear due to the Genocide against tutsi, that killed over one million of its people and has left the East African nation paralyzed in all aspects.
After July 1994 when the Rwanda Patriotic Front took over, everything was a disaster. The new regime had almost nothing to begin with, but they decided to put the country and its people first and good governance has to be unapologetically applied. Now 24 years after; although we still have a long way to go; we can see a country with a very low rate of corruption, not much public funds misused and a country which tries to strive for resilience.
As a landlocked country, the only way to develop was to open our doors for all the global citizens and access different regional organization to insure free movement of the people for the country’s interest in particular but for the global interest in general!
I gave the example of Rwanda to challenge other African leaders whose countries haven’t had same problems as Rwanda and most of them much richer than us.
Dear leaders and fellow Africans, our continent has everything, our people are living the nightmare of their lives to try to look for a better future for themselves and their descendants but they belong to Africa. Wars and poverty that are making them flee are caused by your mediocrity and greed. We are enduring the shame of being children of a poor continent but which is, in reality, the source of richness of the other continents. We are depending on other countries’ people’s taxes given to us as aid because their leaders have their countries and people as a priority. We can work, pacify and make our continent rich too! The key is just good governance which has nothing to do with being much educated or richer; it is just a matter of patriotism.
“You have to understand that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land” as Warsan Shire has said, it is evident that our people are risking their lives because where they go, there is hope, peace and opportunities they have been denied at home. It is not only the shame but also a challenge to all of us to work hard and transform our continent into a shelter of hope, a business partner with other continent instead of just a beggar!
We can make the migration movement, a way of exchanging in a win-win situation instead of a threats to the other continents and a shame to our own!