Connect with us

Feature News

The murky waters of illegal migration3 minutes read

In spite of the possibility of death, Africans keep attempting to reach Europe via international waterways

Published

on

The possibility of death in the high seas does not deter migrants who wish to escape the continent. Photo Credit: Bangkok Post

At all material times of the year, more than a few Africans make the decision to take to the high seas in search of a better life outside the continent. Stories have been told of how perilous the journey usually turns out to be, but these people set out in defiance, choosing to risk it all in the search of more comfortable existence. Visas are hard to come by, not least due to the negative reputation and stereotypes attributed to (black) Africans, so they opt for the long, tortuous journey that involves passing through the cold Mediterranean Sea and the unforgiving Sahara Desert.

The path is usually dangerous, with travelers getting exposed to the elements as they play out in full force across the ocean, and also being at the mercy of snakes and jackals in the desert. The ultimate peril, however, is being swindled by agents – the middlemen who make the travel arrangements – and playing into the hands of smugglers, who detain them when the agents in question don’t pay for “safe passage” in full. The migrants then have to pay exorbitant amounts of money – to the tune of $2,500 – to regain their freedom and resume their journey, or otherwise face the horror of enslavement. Libya, one of the major stops on the journey to Europe, is known for its slave markets, where men have to work as artisans and women are trafficked as sex slaves. The CNN special report on Libya’s slave markets which aired in November 2017 shed light on the ugly situation.

In analysing the fate of migrants who take to water and sand in search of greener pastures, one is sure to stumble on scary figures. In 2015, more than 3,770 people perished in an attempt to get into Europe via the Mediterranean. In August 2015, two boats capsized off the coast of Libya, with 160 bodies found floating in the water. In November 2017, about 26 Nigerian women were reported to have drowned in the Mediterranean. According to the African Centre for Strategic Studies, 79% of African migrants that entered Italy via Libya in early 2017 reported experiencing extortion, torture or outright bondage.

These experiences, however, seem not to deter people who intend to leave Africa by way of illegal migration. Boats still depart the shores of the continent’s rivers every now and then, many hoping to make it into Europe in spite of what they have heard. Just days ago, it was reported that 62 people – including children – died when a boat capsized off the coast of Mauritania. The boat, which was carrying about 150 people, departed from Gambia one week prior, and had run out of fuel, eventually capsizing after being stranded for days.

The fact that more people are embarking on these dangerous journeys in spite of the attendant risks is an indictment on the socio-political systems and living conditions across African countries. If there were adequate educational and health facilities, if the economies in these countries were remotely functioning, if people were not afraid of losing their lives for daring to oppose the government, then it is fair to reason that we would not witness mass migration of this volume. Wealthy and middle-class citizens are finding their way to First World countries through educational programs and asylum applications, while the poor have to settle for unseaworthy boats. Either way, Africans in large numbers continue to choose the possibility of death in the Mediterranean over remaining in Africa.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Entertainment

Pilani Bubu to launch new album, “Folklore – Chapter 1”

This full-length project was released in November last year.

Published

on

South African soul singer Pilani Bubu is set to hold a launch party for her latest album “Folklore – Chapter 1” later today, 27 February. This event is set to take place at Untitled Basement in Johannesburg, South Africa.

At the launch today, Bubu will perform live with a full band featuring Luke van der Merwe, Bheka Mthethwa and many others.

“My approach has always been to perform my music for at least two years live before recording,” Bubu said. “It often grows and new ideas come in.

My band members are also involved in the making of the album,” she says.

Released in November 2019, “Folklore – Chapter 1” contains a total of 17 songs and features appearances from Lebo Mochudi, Billy Monama, and others. It is the follow up to her 8-track sophomore album, “Warrior of Light” which was released to good reviews in 2016.

“Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared among a people, captured through various art forms inclusive of traditional beliefs, customs, proverbs, sayings and tales passed on through generations by word of mouth.

“In this album series I want to treasure traditional folk music, giving it a more contemporary setting, renewed meaning and more context,” she revealed about the new album.

“Folklore – Chapter 1” was produced by a team of Bheka Mthethwa, Billy Monama, Robin Fernie while Troy Lilley handled the engineering.

The album is currently available on all major streaming platforms and physical copies would be sold at the event.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Feature News

Inside Africa’s largest media conference

Social Media Week Lagos presents another opportunity for media-focused conversations

Published

on

Social Media Week Lagos has grown to become arguably Africa's largest media gathering. Photo credit: nene-uwa.com.ng

Every year, thousands of media and technology enthusiasts come to Social Media Week (SMW) Lagos to hear from globally recognised brands, leading business executives and pop culture luminaries, all keenly focused on the future of Africa. Now in its eight year, the annual conference is now considered Africa’s largest tech and innovation event.

Social Media Week Lagos’ week-long programming focuses on ideas, trends, insights, business practices and policy that leverage technology to transform industries and communities across Africa. The 2018 edition hosted 23,364 visitors across the week and garnered an online social reach of 646.6 million, while the 2019 edition saw over 20,000 attendees across the week and had a online social reach of 557 million.

The significance of Social Media Week is in its ability yo bring together thought leaders, key stakeholders and the public to explore issues that are important for the modern world. The conference explores a wide range of topics including education, business, entertainment, technology, art, banking and politics. Through hundreds of events, Social Media Week Lagos aims to create opportunities for the continent’s most innovative minds.

This year, Social Media Week Lagos kicked off at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on February 24 with the theme “Human.X”. The conference will feature conversations focused on what it means to take a human-first and experience-driven approach to innovation across industries, communities and the African continent. Social Media Week Lagos 2020 will host 21,580 attendees and feature 404 speakers across 184 events before its wrap on and February 28, 2020.

Some of this year’s speakers include: Jude “MI” Abaga, Segun Agbaje, Oluwatosin “Olorisupergal” Ajibade, Joey Akan, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Osagie Alonge, Osikhena “Osisuave” Dirisu, Ifu Ennada, Chude Jideonwo, Fuad Lawal, Vimbai Mutinhiri, Cheta Nwanze, Mildred Okwo, Oluwatosin Olaseinde, Adebola “Debola Lagos” Williams and Subomi Plumptre, among others.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Feature News

A region looking over its shoulders

Kenya and other East Africa are wary about the invasion of locusts.

Published

on

The rains have finally come to East Africa, but now there are locusts to worry about. Photo credit: The Atlantic.

Locusts are famed for their ravaging and destructive nature. Old Biblical accounts describe them as such, and in recent times, they have done little to change that impression, flying across continents and causing damage to agricultural systems.

These pests, known and feared for the amount of carnage they are capable of inflicting on vegetation, are currently darkening the skies across farmlands in Kenya, Ethiopia and other parts of East Africa. Breeding in parts of Yemen and Somalia, they migrate westwards to a climate currently characterised by frequent rainfall.

According to statistics provided by the United Nations, locusts could travel up to 150km (95 miles) in a day and eat their own body weight in greenery. What this means is that a swarm of locusts can eat as much food as 35,000 people in a day. Furthermore, during each three-month breeding cycle a single locust can breed 20 more, giving rise to the massive swarms that are now threatening crops across the East African sub-region.

Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti are battling the worst locust outbreak in decades, and swarms have also spread into Tanzania and Uganda. The invasion is worsening food shortages in a region where up to 25 million people are suffering after three consecutive years of droughts and floods, worryingly similar to the drought and famine that plagued northern Ethiopia in 1954 which was also caused by locust invasion.

According to pest control experts, the best option is to kill these menacing insects, and while there is the required technology to execute this, the quantity of said technology is debatable: Ethiopia reportedly has only three operational planes to spray insecticides, while Kenya has only five. According to the United Nations, about $76 million is urgently needed to provide more spraying resources in combating these pests.

It’s ironic that after the drought that haunted the region in late 2019, there is now rain which has facilitated the growth of crops, but the rain is not only providing a fertile environment for the breeding of locust eggs, it is also making it harder to spray insecticides. This is because it is more effective to kill locusts in the morning as they usually have little energy before the day warms up, but frequent early morning rain slows down spraying missions, and by the time the planes get close, the swarms are already high up in the air.

It is uncertain how long this pest invasion will last, so the best course of action is for the United Nations to collaborate with the countries in the sub-region, particularly in the provision of more insecticides and more spraying planes. It’s a long season up ahead, and if East Africa is going to repel the danger of a food crisis, these locusts cannot be allowed to win.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Trending