(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
President of Niger Mahatma Issoufou suggested that Europe needed to put in place a “Marshall Plan” in order to stop mass migration from African countries.
The Marshall Plan was the program in which the US offered Western Europe over $12 billion, an equivalent of close to $120 billion today, to rebuild their economy after world war two.
Issoufou’s statement came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited several African countries earlier this week.
In response to President Issoufou’s statement, Merkel said the EU would not provide that kind of funding as there are concerns surrounding how the funds will be distributed. Merkel also added that the EU at a meeting in Malta last year has set aside $1.8 billion euros to run training and resettlement programs for migrants.
Part of the Saharan desert is located in Niger and is an area that is largely unpoliced. Smugglers have been taking advantage of the unpoliced area by moving migrants through Libya or Algeria in hopes of eventually reaching Europe.
This year about 300,000 migrants are expected to pass through the Agadez region, which is 667,799 square kilometres large, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). That is more than double of the number of migrants that passed through the region in 2015.
The EU plans to discourage migrants from heading to Europe by describing a life in Europe as illegal migrants to be worse than life in Africa.
Global economist, Charles Robertson, said that despite Europe’s efforts, migration is “pretty unstoppable”.
If the talented and skilled youth of African countries decide to stay in their homeland they will most likely double their wealth over 10 years, said Robertson. However, this fact does not solve the migration crisis, adds Robertson.
“You can stay where you are and go back to where Germany was in 1920 or you can leapfrog 90 years of development and have a better standard of living now,” he said. “That isn’t going to change for half a century.”