THE HORN OF AFRICA

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The Horn of Africa was also a major source of migrant arrivals in Europe and deaths in the Mediterranean in 2015. In 2014, 210,000 migrants arrived in Europe, mostly through Italy and to a lesser extent Greece. In 2015, the total number of migrant arrivals in Europe jumped to 1,011,712 by sea, a 382 per cent increase from 2014, according to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project. Over 80 per cent of the arrivals in 2015 were in Greece and 20 per cent in Italy, a marked switch from 2014. The absolute number of deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean increased from 3,279 in 2014 to 3,771 in 2015. But the percentage of Mediterranean deaths to EU arrivals decreased from 1.5 per cent in 2014 to 0.37 per cent in 2015. This indicates an extremely high aggregate “success rate” for the large number of migrants who survived the sea-crossing and entered Europe. Eritrea was the leading country of origin for migrants arriving in Italy, with over 37,000 Eritrean migrants arriving in 2015. Over 11,000 Somalis and almost 9,000 Sudanese also made it to Italy. This represents over 66,000 migrants arriving in Europe from the Horn of Africa, or 6.5 per cent of overall arrivals. Of the 3,772 migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean in 2015, 359 were from the Horn of Africa and 1,220 were from Sub-Saharan Africa. The remaining 879 originated from the Middle East or North Africa Southern Africa and Forced Migration The situation that is often associated with irregular and dangerous migration in Southern Part of Africa cannot be divorced from their colonial experience and treatment meted on the blacks during this period. In South Africa, in particular, workers’ families have, since 1963, been prevented from living with them at the work-site; this, coupled with low pay and poor working conditions, initially led to high labour turnover. In fact, the conditions favouring such a situation were designed to maintain low subsistence wages. Besides, when the arduous tasks reduced productivity of workers, who were hired on contract for periods of not more than two years, the overtaxed and exhausted workers were replaced in order to maintain, indeed increase, productivity. Thus, historically this began the roots of the temporary, target migration pattern, which involves international migration, in the African context: workers circulate between home and the mines, disillusioned by the poor earnings and inadequate welfare services. In certain cases, workers prefer to return home permanently rather than remain in the mines and plantations where working conditions are, in fact, dehumanizing. In this context, the explanation of the temporary nature of migration in eastern and southern Africa in terms of target needs is inappropriate. The underlying factors can be traced to the organization of tasks, living and working conditions not normally conducive to decent living. By the time of independence, these migrations became institutionalized, but by then various restrictive practices relating to family reunions, residence and contractual labour systems in West and East Africa had been removed; however, these are still enforced, perhaps even more rigorously, in South Africa. Currently, a series of external constraints on the internal development strategies in Africa invariably affect the opportunity structure of the local population, especially in rural areas. The policies of international corporations with regard to investment which buttresses national development strategies exert tremendous impact on the internal political, social and economic organization, especially with respect to location and types of employment opportunities, incomes and living conditions which have in turn influenced both internal and international migration in Africa. The Cause and Course Scholars have argued that one major factor that has led the area in to this is political. According to Emeagwali political instability increases the rates at which professionals emigrate from this part of the world. In the scholars view, this is not limited to the Nigerian area as many professionals emigrated during the brutal reigns especially of the military as exemplified during the reign of General Babangida and Sani Abacha (Nigeria). In other parts of Africa, the reign of Idi Amin (Uganda) and Mobutu (Zaire) also witnessed such. In the case of Sudan, the war in between the Islamic north and the Christian south has led to the migration of half Sudanese professionals (Oni, 2003). The table below describes the situation in Nigeria.

Table I: Frequency distribuon of migrants according to periods they left Nigeria

Period

Number

Frequency (%)

State of Political Economy

1972 1980

9

8.65

High crude oil prices Military/democratic governance

1981 1985

10

9.62

Declining crude oil prices Democratic/Military governance

1986 1990

40

38.46

Low crude oil prices Military governance

1991 1995

13

12.50

Very low oil prices Military governance

1996 2000

11

10.58

Low crude oil prices Military/democratic governance

2001 2005

21

20.19

Very high crude oil prices Democratic governance

Total

104

100.00

 

The migrants’ destinations determine their last sojourn in North Africa – be that Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, or Morocco.

To reach European Islands like Malta, or Italian coastal islands like Lampedusa, Pantelleria, or Sicily, migrants are more likely to travel by sea from Libya. West African coastal cities in such countries as Mauritania, Cape Verde and even Senegal are currently presenting alluring departure posts. Migrants make long and demanding journeys by sea to Canary Islands from these coastal cities in West Africa. From Morocco, migrants gain access to the Canary Islands. Not until xenophobia became diffused in the country did Morocco cease to play host to numerous West African migrants. Egypt and Algeria like other North African states serve as the last departure posts in the continent.

Networks of human-smugglers facilitate the migrants’ journeys to Europe. Working in close collaboration with some disoriented and corrupt law enforcement agents, border patrol units, and immigration officials, these smugglers successfully introduce

In a more general term and taking a view of the case in a more regional form, The Africa Capacity Building foundation (ACBF) elucidates the irregular and dangerous migration as it leads to human Capital flight problem thus:

Political and social intolerance-persistent tussle over leadership succession, political repression, separatist irredentism and corruption, disillusionment internal conflicts and wars. For instance, in 1982, 22 nations had military rulers. By 1985, 51 independent African states had suffered at least 60 military coups. This created conditions for the flight of professionals, displacement of people and refugees. Political violence (and previously abrupt changes in government often by military coups), political persecution, wide spread use of political power by private gains, corruption and loss of confidence in government Repression of human rights, including academic and professional freedom and lack of political atmosphere conducive to free and open debate. Oftentimes, rather than negotiate, African government have tendered to resort to heavy handed measures to address demands for better conditions of service by workers unions, including academic staff unions of African universities. Some have resorted to proscription of unions, confiscations of unions’ assets, subjection of their leaders to harassment, dismissal from work arrests and detention, and other forms of persecution. ACBF (2003:6)

A general analysis of the above clearly shows that , the loss of human capital still remains paramount to the issue of African’s development in general and Nigeria in particular in the long-run.

The continuous migration of people out of this part of the world to most developed countries has been established to be basically internal. This has to do with the fact that they have not been offered better life opportunity in their country as well as socio-economic and political instability. The immediate effect is that there is the widening trend in the population of the poor. The Nigerian situation gives a clear picture of a large chunk of well able body and well educated youths not having a meaningful sources of livelihood, this is because over the decades, the Nigerian manufacturing sector which would have absorbed a good number of them, have continually witnessed ups and downs as its contribution to GDP rose and fell, stating from the period of the early 1970’s. Available record as obtained from both government and private sources indicates that in 1970, it had risen to 9.4 percent of GDP. During the oil boom in 1973, it fell to 7 percent, but rose to 13 percent in 1980 at the height of the second oil boom. However, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, manufacturing only contributed 4.1 percent of Nigeria’s GDP in 2010. This is indeed an irony considering the fact that after tens of billions of dollars in public and private investments since independence, the manufacturing sector actually contributes less to Nigeria’s economy than it did before independence. The immediate effect is that the unemployment figure for the country continues to rise without any corresponding attempt at tackling it.

Available statistic shows that upto 2002, Nigerian manufacturers employed more than 2.8 million people directly, nearly as many as those employed by all the local governments, 36 states and the federal government combined, without significant direct allocations from the national budget. Seven years later (specifically 2009), the reverse was the case as they embarked on massive lay off of staff, such that the number collapsed to about 1.5 million by 2009. The situation has not shown any sign of improving as there are evidence of continous collapse of many industrues leading to the loss of job of working class. To be more specific, the case of the hitherto booming textile industry comes to mind; the closure of United Nigeria Textile Limited (UNTL) Kaduna will be used to drive home the point. At the peak of production the industry employed over 4000 regular workers, working in two shifts supporting over 350,000 families up to the eve of 2007. By 2007, the closure of this company due to corruption, irregular power supply, led to a situation in which these over 4,000 regular workers, were rendered jobless. This meant that over 350,000 dependants were left with nothing except survival strategies. This also was experienced by those employed under. Aswani Textile, Five Star, Specomill, Nigeria Textile Mill (NTM), ENPEE, Atlantic Textile, Gaskiya Textiles, Arewa Textiles, Kay Industries and Aba Textiles. In the same manner, automobile companies in the region was forced to take similar step. Some of the well noted were companies like Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANNAMCO), Volkswagen, Leyland, Steyr witnessed this loss. In the case of Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria (PAN), during this period it retrenched 80% of  its workers; a situation which in economic trerm translate to the country loosen as much as N175 billion annually as she has to import all her automobile both for private, commercial and government use. This also affected those working in companies which produce automobile related products like tyre. It was thus during this period that Dunlop and its counterpart Michelin Tyres retrenched Nigerian workers and relocated to Ghana and South Africa respectively. Today, these countries remain the meca of the Nigerian youths and brains. It is estimated that of the 700, 000 graduates chumed out annually by the tertiary institution in Nigeria, over 300, 000 embark on irregular and dangerous migration to these and other countries. Presently the situation is such that according to Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), 834 factories had closed shop shedding off nearly 80,000 jobs starting from 2009 annually.