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Economic Migration: African States must also bear their Responsibility

By Lars Plougmann from London, United Kingdom (Just say NO to corruption - DSCN1875cr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

We need to be able to talk calmly about the African migrants who leave their home countries in search of employment. It must be frankly said that economic migration is closely linked to poor governance in Africa. Indeed, and according to the African Center for Strategic Studies 9 of the top 10 countries of origin of these migrants are considered "not free" or "partly free" in their access to civil liberties. Moreover, all of these countries face a very serious corruption problem: Ethiopia-Nigeria-Guinea-Côte d'Ivoire-Morocco-Gambia-Mali-Algeria-Sudan-Senegal. Good governance is essential for ensuring economic growth and social stability. Clearly, the responsibilty often lies with the ruling class of these countries. However, it must also be recognized that corruption always involve 2 parties, the corrupted and the corruptors. Some of the latter live in Western countries. It is acknowledged that migration from Africa will substantially increase in the coming years. And we know that most economic migrants move simply because they see no future at home. We should also be able to talk peacefully about demography. The population of Africa is expected to more than double by 2050, reaching 2.5 billion (Fig.UN). The demographic pressure is particularly high in sub-Saharan Africa with fertility rates at 6.6 children per women (Fig.World Bank). It is a real problem. Democracy and demography are key challenges for the future of the African continent. The African Union has just created an Observatory on Migration. It is a step in the right direction. But given what is at stake in this matter, it is a very small step.

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