Sending money in Africa… why Africans displaced in Malta should stop the practice

SOMALIA, Mogadishu a money exchanger counts Somali shilling notes on the streets of the Somali capital Mogadishu. AU/UN IST PHOTO / STUART PRICE.CC

The end of year feasts are over, everybody has gone back to a normal life and to normal domestic expenditures, that is bills to pay, food to buy…But for the majority of African diaspora, normal domestic expenditures include sending on a regular basis some money to the family back in Africa. In many economic reviews, the remittance is said to represent almost 50% of the financial inflows for some countries. The practice does not concern only Africans, for Studies made on the subject show that immigrants from all over the world usually send money home to support the family.

African immigrants in Malta do not escape from that scheme, though an observer of the immigration policy of the country would wonder how they do manage to collect enough money to pay the rent, the bills, food, education…and help the family back home, when many of them struggle daily to access the job market, where they can be instinctively excluded  because of the negativity that is historically linked to their color.

Job opportunities for African immigrants in Malta

They are almost equal to zero. The Labour market consideration, (PDF, page 10)  which regulates the employment in Malta, gives rightfully priority to Maltese citizens, then to EU citizens, then to Third Countries  Nationals (TCNs), category in which belong Africans; but also Americans, Syrians, Lebanese; Russians, Filipinos…etc. Hypocrisy set aside, it is clear that in base at the socio-political anti-immigrants reality, Africans will always come at the bottom of the queue.

Pay for your education, be socially active in your new country, ergo get a better job
The level of education of African immigrants is questionable because of the poor quality  of that service in many countries of the continent.

School children in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, CC
School children in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, CC

This thus happens to be a major handicap for many displaced people here, who lack the necessary tools  which would enable them to interact in the new society in which they intend to live, hence the urgency of going back to school. The urgency to learn critical thinking, pride, self-respect, good English and good Maltese, the urgency to knowledge one’s capacities, to master the only vital way out from social exclusion: Education!

Education is the key word, Education matters.

Being in possession of a Maltese or European diplomas is the solution for Africans who intend to live in Malta. The money earned doing humbled jobs  (collecting rubbish, cleaning kitchen or carrying stones…etc) should be saved to pay for studies, an open sesame for a better life here or elsewhere.
Being the slave of the family in Africa condemns some immigrants to slavery here in Malta (daily humiliations at job places, with no choice other than to bow one’s head.)

 A recent tragic story reporting a man from Somalia dying under a bridge has highlighted the sad reality of exclusion. Those who have lost their lives in the Mediterranean will never send money back home. Being educated will create better communication between the three entities represented by the immigrant, the family back home and his new community. On the occasion of her last speech as first Lady, Michelle Obama, a role model for millions of Africans has emphasized with vigor the power of education:

You can even become a President! She said

This article addresses the large majority of Africans living abroad. Exceptions should be considered. Many fathers or mothers leave children and spouses  at home to search for a better life.



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