The West African Observatory on Migrations review of October 2016 on migration

Keywords : Human and trade union rights Communique Migration

EU announces new support to tackle root causes of migration in Senegal
They will be financed under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, and their aim is to develop economies and businesses in departure zones of migrants and improve living conditions in rural areas. They also signed two projects in support of food security and agricultural development and of the rule of law, financed by the 11th European Development Fund, for a total value of € 30 million. The signature of these agreements took place on the occasion of Commissioner Mimica‘s visit to Senegal where he attended a conference on “Migrations, governance and development in West Africa” hosted by President Macky Sall. Commissioner Mimica delivered the opening speech at the conference which is taking place days before the first anniversary of the Valletta Summit on migration between EU and African leaders. (Read more)

EU and Nigeria to begin talks on sending economic migrants home
The EU and Nigeria start formal talks in Abuja this week on a deal to send economic migrants back home, as part of the bloc’s latest move to stem the exodus of Africans to Europe. The delegation of the 15 EU officials to the Nigerian capital will also be discussing plans to direct private European money to infrastructure projects in the west African country. This is part of a long term goal to raise up to €60bn of private funds to stem migration from nations including Nigeria. Diplomats say all this is aimed at addressing not only the ramifications of migration in Europe, but also dealing the root causes of migration from the world’s poorest continent. (Read more

ECOWAS Urges Population Cut for Economic Growth
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has urged member states to sensitise communities on the need to reduce the number of children a family can cater for in order to enhance economic development and reduce migration. (Read more)

German Government leaders on simultaneous African visits
German chancellor Angela Merkel and her foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier have been visiting Africa at the same time. Top of their agendas were migration, security and investment. (Read more)

Germany’s Merkel, on first leg of Africa trip, pledges help for Mali
German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged more support to fight against drug and people smuggling from Mali, on the first day of a trip to Africa where she will try to work toward curbing future waves of migration and to repair her reputation at home. (Read more)

Merkel announces aid package for Niger to stem migrant flow
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a 27-million-euro aid package for Niger, her second stop in a three-nation Africa tour aimed at fighting terrorism and stemming the migrant influx to Europe. The German leader said the army of the arid west African country, one of the world’s poorest, would receive 10 million euros ($11 million) worth of equipment next year.Germany will also build a military base to back up the UN mission in neighbouring Mali, the first country she had visited on the whirlwind African tour.Merkel also promised 17 million euros as development aid for Niger’s arid and desperately impoverished Agadez region in the north in a bid to fight migration to Europe. (Read more)

Germany will send back most Nigerians: Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday wrapped up a week of Africa diplomacy aimed at slowing the flow of migrants to Europe from a continent battered by conflict and poverty. She hosted Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, having also met Chad’s head of state Idriss Deby two days earlier following a three-day whirlwind tour of Mali, Niger and Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union. (Read more)

EU hails first result in Africa migration deals

The European Commission said on Tuesday 18 October that it was happy with the first results of partnerships signed with five African countries this year to reduce migration flows to Europe. (...) For now, the most visible success of the plan is in Agadez, in Niger, described as "a central hub for tens of thousands of irregular migrants trying to reach the Mediterranean and Europe, mostly via Libya." With a permanent EU presence in the town and a cooperation with authorities and the International Organisation for Migration, voluntary returns of migrants to their country of origin has gone up from 1,700 last year to more than 3,500 between January and August this year. "Agadez is a very important laboratory, a test case for possible replication in other areas," an EU official said. (Read more)

Guinea-Bissau deports stranded illegal immigrants from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ghana
A group of 38 illegal immigrants captured in September in the Bissagos archipelago, off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, were on Wednesday deported to Guinea. The 38 people made up of Guineans, Sierra Leoneans and Ghanaians were travelling in an illegal boat and got stranded on a sandbar in mid September. “All administrative formalities were observed and a bus chartered by the IOM (International Organization for Migration) facilitated their transportation from Buruntuma,” the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Interior, Marcelino Cabral said. (Read more)

Nigeria: How sex slavery is fueled by fear of juju
One of the numerous Nigerian teenagers that arrived Sicily after crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa last year, Beauty, had only hours to phone the man who trafficked her. If she doesn’t, she risks losing one of her loved ones in Nigeria. According to her, before setting out on the journey through Niger to Libya, she was forced to take an oat of obedience and loyalty to her trafficker. (Read more)

Gambia: US imposes visa ban on Gambian government officials over deportation
The United States said that it will not grant visas to members of the Gambian government. The US said its position will remain until a dispute over Gambians awaiting deportation back to the west African nation was resolved. The Gambia has reportedly refused to accept nearly 2000 people the US is trying to deport. The Washington Times noted that Homeland Security took the move after extensive overtures to the Gambian government were not heeded. ‘‘As of October 1, 2016, the US Embassy in Banjul, the Gambia has discontinued visa issuance to employees of the Gambian government, employees of certain entities associated with the government, and their spouses and children with limited exceptions,’‘ a State Department official said. (Read more)

To Curb Migration, EU Must Solve Sahel Population Boom, UN Says
The European Union should help countries in Africa’s Sahel region tackle a population boom if it wants to keep more migrants from coming to its shores, a senior U.N. official said. Toby Lanzer, humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, said governments there are struggling to provide jobs, schools and food to the growing numbers that, the United Nations estimates, could triple to more 300 million by 2050. "The challenge across the region is gigantic," Lanzer said in an interview. "In the coming 10-20 years we will see an ever-increasing number of migrants until the countries of Europe ... have a very frank conversation … about demography," he said, adding that the EU should also discuss trade and security to curb migration. (Read more)

Ghana: Arrest Solomon Nkansah over stowaway comment – NGO
An anti-illegal migration Non Governmental Organization, SEWA Foundation has called for the arrest of the Communications Director of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Solomon Nkansah for publicly encouraging stowaway. According to the NGO, the NDC official appears to know much about the facilitation of the illegal practice and it’s important that the he’s invited by the security agencies for questioning. Solomon Nkansah, who was addressing hundreds of NDC supporters during the campaign launch of the deputy Western Regional Minister and NDC parliamentary candidate for New Takoradi, Alfred Ekow Gyan said during the NPP’s era a huge wall was constructed around the harbour, making it difficult for the youth to stowaway. (Read more)

Gambian Youths Urged to Desist from Irregular Migration

As Gambian youths continuing to risk their lives through the Mediterranean Sea in a desperate attempt to get to Europe, local youths have urged their contemporaries to desist from the perilous journey and make the best use of the opportunities created at home. Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer, Ousman Sillah, young Gambian carpenter in Brikama, said young people of The Gambia have no reason to embark on this dangerous journey to Europe since the Government is providing opportunities for them. (Read more)

How Lebanese migrants helped shape West Africa
Historian Andrew Arsan talks about the contribution of the people from Lebanon during the colonial history of this region. The Lebanese migrants in colonial West Africa lived in a large expanse which covers present-day Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Guinea, Benin and Mauritania. Arsan’s own family had no direct links with West Africa. “There are lots of people in Beirut and south of Lebanon who have those connections. My family is not one of them. I had always heard about people moving to West Africa, and always found it intriguing and interesting. In my last year in university I studied a course in African history and fell in love with the subject. So I wanted to find a topic through which I could reconcile and bring together Middle Eastern and African histories, and studying that made sense.” (Read more)

The New African Migration Paradigm
Today’s African migration is witnessing a paradigm shift as most African countries are becoming developed, coupled with the technological advancement and political steadiness. However while some countries like South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola and Nigeria are witnessing a high influx of other Africans with respect to their emerging economy, stable political environment and most especially educational system, other countries like Tunisia and Libya are also a destination as a gateway to Europe which some Africans are persuaded is the optimum destination. (Read more)

The Gambia: Farmers cry: No one to help us at the farms, not our sons
The mass exodus of Gambian youth to Europe, through the Sahara desert to the Mediterranean Sea, is taking a heavy toll on the country’s agricultural sector. Kebba Jeffang reports that the sons of the farmers have left the pastures at the farms in The Gambia for a greener pasture in Europe. A lot of farmers across The Gambia are experiencing hardship at their farms due to shortage of manpower. Their children, the energetic youth, who often provide the labour at the farms are gone to Europe through what is commonly called in The Gambia ‘back-way’. Farmers from almost all the regions of the country have bemoaned the absence of their children at the farms. Some of the farmers could no longer farm the normal size of land they used to cultivate while those that are a bit better off now have to pay for the labour at their farms. (Read more)

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