Friday, June 13
AFRICA: Rushing for the Exit
Victor Youmbi, Open Democracy, June 14, 2003
Anyone with the brains, talent or economic resources is trying to leave Africa, and who can blame them
Economic collapse and corruption in Africa mean that Europe’s efforts to stem immigration from the continent will remain futile until the underlying causes are addressed.
Whenever a group of young Africans are invited to a European country to attend a cultural or sports event the original number hardly ever returns.
260 young representatives of the Cameroonian Catholic church went to the World Youth Festival in Rome for the third millennium celebrations. Only sixty returned. The others had “evaporated”. We are dealing with a social phenomenon which is related not only to the living conditions of Africans but also to the wonderland projected by the programmes of French television channels aired in Africa.
In his recent book about life in Douala Gilles Séraphin shows how the longing for social status haunts the young. Their prospects thwarted, they desire nothing more than to emigrate, in order to achieve, on returning, the social status so much yearned for. [...]