Last weekend alone, Italy’s coastguard and navy rescued nearly 6,000
migrants as warm weather and improving sea conditions prompted an even higher number of boats to set off from north Africa. More than 15,000 migrants have entered Italy this year according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Most of the migrants are from Libya and sub-Saharan Africa, including Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia.
Migration remains a complex phenomenon that accrues from imbalances in development and governance. It is variously viewed as a source of livelihood, investment and overall development on one hand, and a burden, on the other, due to its accompanying socio-economic and political costs which can hamper development.
It is ironic that while Africa is being courted by both developed and emerging economies, the continent’s inhabitants are fleeing it in droves. It is imperative that the root causes of migration be addressed by all stakeholders through honest dialogue as well as the promotion of sustainable and inclusive economic and social development. African citizens must never suffer in the hands of traffickers and smugglers, through unsafe and exploitative channels.