April 4, 2019


The Story of Migration Is More Positive Than We've Been Led to Believe (MO IBRAHIM, 4/03/19, TIME)

Data shows that migrants support GDP growth in destination countries and are valuable, often indispensable parts of the workforce. Their economic contribution is considerable. Migrants' contribution to GDP is estimated at 19% in Côte d'Ivoire, 13% in Rwanda and 9% in South Africa.

Migration can invigorate growth, plug labor market gaps and offer constructive opportunities for energetic and growing youth populations. Today, 60% of Africa's population is under the age of 25 and by 2100, Africa's youth could be equivalent to twice Europe's entire population. However, the match between education and the skills needed by employers is worse than in any other world region. Technological progress in recent years has created new jobs and business models, but opportunities for young African's to master this innovation are still lacking across the continent.

This is a huge challenge we must take on. If we do not manage and foster mobility, we run the risk of losing our greatest asset: our young people.

Refusal to create legal migration routes, insufficient policies and weak mobility frameworks mean criminal networks often profit from migration more than governments. When migration is poorly managed, we all lose out. In 2016, illegal smuggling generated $7 billion in income, equivalent to the amount spent by the United States or European Union countries on global humanitarian aid in the same year. These are sobering numbers.

Humanity has always been on the move. Migrations are the fabric of our shared existence and have strengthened continents, countries and communities for millennia. Supporting migration, rather than thwarting it, is essential if we wish to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and end poverty.

The political challenge for Africa -- and, indeed, the world -- is to incentivize migration in the right way, be it geographical, educational or professional.

The African Union's recent protocol on free movement, adopted a year ago, is a key step. This commitment to removing some of the barriers to migration will allow employers to recruit the skills they need, supporting economic development across Africa. But in Africa as elsewhere, the popular political will needs to press ahead. Attitudes in Africa towards migration are more positive than anywhere else in the world. African citizens are ready.

One of the ways Nativists obfuscate is to claim they're just worried about the homogeneity of recent immigration: here's a way for them to embrace diversification.

Posted by at April 4, 2019 12:03 AM