African Development: the EU Talks, China Walks
Despite the EU’s much trumpeted deal with Tunisia of July 16, the flow of irregular migrants over the Mediterranean Sea has not stopped. In the ensuing weeks, an average of 1,000 migrants per day reached Italian shores. In the first six months of this year, ca. 90,000 irregular migrants have reached Italy, twice as many as last year.
The mass-migration phenomenon from Northern Africa to Europe is similar to the one from Mexico to the United States. In both cases, the migrant flows are controlled by networks of human traffickers, from which the victims can often not even escape once they reach their destination.
U.S. Democratic Presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) exposed this racket after a three-day investigation at the U.S.-Mexican border. He reported that almost no one among the migrants was from Mexico or Central America. “They’re from Peru, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, India, China, Tibet, and Nepal. The cartels have TikTok videos and YouTube videos that show you what you need to do to get into the United States”, he said in an interview with Jimmy Dore. “Cartels are advertising across the globe. They [immigrants-to-be – ed.] pay $10,000 or $15,000 to the cartels and fly in from countries all over the world…”
A similar process with racketeers occurs over the Mediterranean routes. Whereas last year, most of the departures were from Libya, this year it’s Tunisia. To stop the flow, the EU offered one billion euros to the Tunisian government, which is supposed to boost law enforcement structures, and promised help in the negotiations for economic aid with the International Monetary Fund.
However, this deal and other such strategies will not minimally stop the migration flows, as figures from the following weeks have shown. The only solution is to develop Africa!
In this regard, economist and former Italian government official Michele Geraci has pointed out that China is the main ally, when it comes to bringing development to Africa. So, instead of drafting schemes to counter Beijing’s influence in Africa, European countries should urgently join in its Belt and Road investment policy.
In addition to China’s projects, he said, “other infrastructure and transportation development initiatives are also welcome; indeed, there is so much to do in Africa that there is room for everyone…. China has already invested hundreds of billions, I repeat, hundreds of billions in the last ten years, while the EU Plan, the GlobalGateway is zero. Words. With words you don’t solve problems.”
A McKinsey report of 2017 – six years ago – documented how China had created “millions of jobs” in Africa. One can imagine where those millions of people would be today, had this not occurred.