Europe’s latest plan to stem illegal African migration is to create 10 million jobs in five years
Free trade and less aid: that’s the latest call from Europe’s top leader on how to engage with Africa.
In a key address delivered today (Sept. 12), European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Africa was “the future” and called for strengthening partnerships with the continent. Juncker specifically proposed a new program that would create up to 10 million jobs in the next five years and could potentially unlock €44 billion ($51 billion) in public and private investments.
The plan comes as Europe tries to bolster economic growth in Africa in order to limit irregular migration from the continent. The proposal also comes just weeks after both German and British leaders toured Africa in order to promote investment opportunities that could create viable livelihoods and disincentive migration.
Juncker said that he spoke with Africanleaders including president Paul Kagame of Rwanda who affirmed that aid relations should be replaced with “reciprocal commitments” in investment and trade. The EU will also plan to support 105,000 African students and researchers through its education and training program Erasmus.
“Africa does not need charity, it needs true and fair partnerships. And Europe needs this partnership just as much,” he added.
Migration from African nations has increased dramatically in the last three decades, going from just 1% in the 1990s to 31% by the 2000s. Last year, some 25 million people from sub-Saharan Africa lived outside their countries, according to a Pew Research study. Many of those people are driven out of their homes by a motley of reasons including conflict, economic decline, disease, and hunger.