It is projected that Africa’s population will double by the year 2050. Paired with the rising temperature levels in the continent, the problem of mass economic migration from Africa does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.
The problem of mass immigration from Africa into Europe, through the Mediterranean Sea, has been a prevalent issue for a while now. With a death toll numbering in the hundreds every year, the crisis is not likely to stop in the near future – if ever, unless serious action is taken. This revelation has led to many different reactions, some arguing in favour of immigration as a source of replenishing the labour force of ageing populations, and others wanting to completely close the gates of Europe to these people seeking a better life.
When it comes to subjects such as this, the answer tends to be somewhere in between the two lines of thought. Large injections of labour can boost the economy, and also decrease wages of certain jobs, alienating locals from some industries. Mass immigration could introduce new cultures and diversity of ideas, but it could also slowly replace the local culture and increase crime rates with the development of poorer communities.
Despite all the different factors to take into consideration however, uncontrolled mass immigration is rarely good. Many elements contribute to the case, including an increase in poverty from lack of jobs available to the huge number of new entrants to the labour supply. This can contribute to further tension because of different cultures and ideals which can create an ‘us and them’ mentality, or worse. There are always some benefits to immigration, however there comes a point when the negative effects are much higher, and dangerous.
Whether we have hit that point already or will hit it soon is up for debate. Regardless of one’s stance over the situation now, one thing remains certain; something must be done to prevent further unnecessary loss of life in the future. Any action that may save even a small number from the massive death toll, should surely be the EU’s top priority.
Governments in the EU try to aid poorer countries by investing in education, first aid and other projects. However, since these countries tend to have high rates of corruption, a lot of the good intentioned money ends up funding unwanted endeavours. Moreover, when there is aid provided, it is not always tailored to the needs of the country. An example of this would be the provision of education in sectors which are not common in the nation, making it difficult or outright impossible to find a job they studied for.
The solution to this problem could possibly lie in a collaboration between the private and public sectors. If there were more incentives by governments within the EU for private European firms to open up in African countries and for European nationals to invest in African businesses, not only would that create jobs and help the economy grow, but it would also tie the huge potential of growth most African nations have to Europe. If wage controls for European companies are enforced by the EU this could strike an excellent balance between having cheap labour for European firms whilst also having high wages when compared to local African ones. All of this means that once currently struggling economies start stabilising and growing, Europe would benefit too, both directly and indirectly. Especially when taking into consideration that when a country becomes wealthy, the trend is usually towards buying more European products.
Overall there are two options to choose; try and do something about mass immigration that can benefit both European and African citizens and save thousands of lives, or do nothing at all and watch on as the death toll rises and complications in economy and cultures worsen the existing crisis.