Immigrants to African leaders: build a good economy for us, help us plan our future at home

By Régine Psaila

US-Africa leaders summit 2014. Photo CC Wikimedia

African migrants face hardship all over Europe, either they are granted a refugee’s status or not. However, things can be a little more difficult for the so called “economic migrants” who are not considered “refugee” according to the official definition from the Geneva convention.

Who are they?
It can be anyone coming from a non-war zone who fails to convince the authorities that he is a political refugee, or that his life is threatened in his country of origin for whatever reason.

West Africans’ claims for asylum are usually turned down because they flee to escape poverty, but while the focus of their complains usually targets immigration policies of the welcoming countries, not much is said about the economic choices made by African leaders, choices that keep their population into poverty.

Many reasons support that silence, but one of the main is that people who flee (for whatever reason) have families back home and they fear for their lives, as many African countries are still ruled by ‘power-grabbers’.

Nevertheless, more and more asylum seekers, trapped between xenophobia, the regret to have left home and the impossible return (considered a failure) choose to overcome their fear.

We have asked to Francis Abankwa, the President of the Ghanaian community in Malta if he had a message for African leaders. Here is what he says:

“We ask them to help us with the economy, to settle things for us and to plan our future…because if things were good there, none of us would be here.’

Watch the video


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