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Why Clandestine Immigration Is Rampant In Africa?

Panellists of the radio debate programme advanced divergent reasons for rising illegal immigration in Africa.

The recent happenings in the Mediterranean Sea where about 800 illegal immigrants from mostly Africa drowned and hundreds others rescued was at the centre of debate last Saturday April 25, 2015, on the radio programme “Policam” over Radio Tiemenie Siantou (RTS 90.5 FM). As soon as the topics under focus were announced by the presenter, Eric Boniface Tchoukeu, the guests who came from diverse backgrounds identified unhealthy political systems, unemployment, academics, quest for a better life amongst others as the reasons behind the massive influx of Africans to Europe and America.

Unhealthy Political Environment

One of the reasons that were evoked by almost all the panellists was the political system of most African countries as being the major push cause in favour of clandestine immigration. Hubert Kangang, President of African Population Union (UPA) posited that the political systems do not permit values such as good governance and democracy to thrive. He argued that a handful of African leaders have taken the continent hostage plunging their State resources for the benefit of themselves and their families. If equal opportunities and facilities were provided, he argued, no person would go to another man’s country in search of a better life.  While Hebert Kangang argued that in the wake of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, no African government has made a statement condemning the incident, not even African Union, Tobie Ndi, former CPDM municipal councillor of Ngomedzap Council, countered that President Paul Biya addressed a condolence message to his counterpart of Kenya during the recent attacks in Kenya. He stated that African governments cannot be condoning with illegal immigrants by showing concern to them like the case of what happened in the Mediterranean Sea.

Tobie Ndi stated that institutions put in place by the international community are there to serve the interest of the West, citing how France under President Sarcozy fuelled the crisis in Libya that led to the destabilisation of that oil-rich country hence leading to immigration. Hubert Kangang disagreed with Tobie who described the West as capitalist with facilities attracting Africans to say that the West are still practicing neo-colonialism where African governments are made to sign and ratify accords with their ‘godfathers’ which has held Africans economies backward. He used the Franc zone as an example of neo-colonialism by France.

Excruciating Unemployment

The alarming rate of unemployment in most African countries where graduates roam the streets was another push factor for illegal immigration in Africa. Isac Bissala, President of the National Syndicate of Workers Trade Union, stated that African countries are not industrialised accusing the capitalist West for the situation so that African will continue to serve as their market. Bissala further likened the immigration to rural exodus where people leave the villages because of the absence of jobs and other social facilities to a better life in the cities. Kangang on his part, said, youths have lost hope in their countries where institutions like the Senate are created with a good chunk of state funds allocated to it whereas the masses suffer in abject poverty and unemployment.

Educational Opportunities

Isac Bissala as well as other panellists also identified ill-adapted academic facilities in African colleges and universities that do not permit for further studies. Thus youth in search of educational opportunities abroad especially in some Western countries that offer free education would want to use any means to travel without the necessary travelling documents. No matter, the case, Bisala argued that every citizen has to be protected stating that attempts to prevent them from travelling will be looked at as violation of human rights.

While Tobie Ndi called for more sensitisation of African Youth on the fact that they can make it in Africa without travelling to Europe or America, Huber Kangang said African leaders should denounce conventions and accords signed so as to become independent and united with the panafrican spirit. Bissala proposed that African should be more organised and borrow from the Chinese example.

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