EU $2 Billion African Migration Fund: Opportunities and Opportunists

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Sometimes, you do not necessarily have to be a sadist to believe that one man’s misery can be another man’s fortune. Or vice versa. Do you? How far does this saying remind you of some African and Western leaders? Still contemplating? Ok. Let’s go further to the latest bonanza or manna from the West. Manna? Oh yes!

In a desperate attempt to solve the migration exodus to Europe, the European Union (EU) recently launched a $2bn fund aimed at preventing swarm of African immigrants from coming to Europe. In a Euro-African summit held in Malta on 12th November, the EU launched the fund to help African leaders invest in their countries in order to solve problems such as unemployment, poverty, conflict, economic stagnation, which the EU hopes will change the lives of Africans in a long term as well as prevent them from leaving their countries for Europe, looking for greener pasture. The idea, if well executed, will surely usher in much needed opportunities for Africans and prevent a horde of African multitudes risking their lives on the boat, crossing to Europe. But having in mind the numerous problems facing Africa, would one see the huge investment as a handful of salt poured into the sea, as some African leaders have argued? Or is the fund another manna for some insatiably greedy African leaders? Or is it a kangaroo economics, which will benefit the West in a long run? Your guess is as good as mine.

Originally, the plan was to have a fund of $3.6bn, comprising $1.8bn directly from the central EU and the rest of the money coming from various government of the EU. Unfortunately, the latter could only cough out a total sum of $78.2m. Yes, the immigration problem in Europe is one of the most difficult challenges facing the continent of recent. It is the problem most European leaders would rather not discuss openly or indeed honestly, for obvious implications. From the fear of instigating xenophobic attacks against refugees, to attempts not to hand out much needed votes to the right wing parties across Europe and thereby losing elections, the honest discussion of the current immigration earthquake has rather become a taboo amongst European leaders. Worse still, fears of making utterances by these leaders, that could have unprecedented catastrophic impacts on the fragile economy, recovering from the sluggishly stubborn recession, which started in 2008, have made the new European migration issue a sensitive headache. Would acknowledgement of the real impact of the refugee crises by the European leaders accord glory to President Putin of Russia, the arch backbone of President Assad of Syria, on whose credit Russia (after the allied partners started attacking ISS) has been bombarding both the terrorists and any other perceived enemies of Assad? Would not such an acknowledgement make President Putin the undisputed power broker in Syria, who must be taken into account and for that matter, fully consulted and involved in order to find the solution to the Syria saga? Is Russian bombardment and the swarm of refugees to Europe an indirect punishment from Russia for the sanctions levelled against her by the West after the annexation of part of Ukraine by Putin? Now hold your breath! The ISS group had been trying to penetrate the West and unleash unimaginable terror, albeit with less success due to tighter immigration control; with the latest refugee flock from Syria, why would the terrorist groups fold their arms and warn potential terror recruits not to join the mass migration exodus to the West? Free trip, no visa, no control (the fingerprint reveals only known terrorists, but does not say that one wants to bomb you. Right?). Terrorists don’t have stickers on their face, revealing their murderous identity. Do they? After the recent terrorist attacks in Paris   – and with the revelation that some of the attackers pretended to be refugees from Syria – you now begin to understand the dilemma European leaders are in and the urgent need to halt the refugee tornado – by all means.

Interestingly, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel showed her “good” side by promising to absorb millions of immigrants from Syria (not from Africa, of course), a decision welcomed globally with a big applause, until she faced a swift opposition from her CDU party members. Yes, “Mama”  Merkel wanted to show the other side of German benevolent spirit and erase the dark side of the Nazi inglorious past, but the smart Chancellor would not come to the Facebook page and announce that her country in fact desperately needs the highly killed Syrian immigrants as future labourers to take care of the German ageing population. If Germany could offer to absorb millions of asylum seekers from Syria, why not from Africa as well? Why would European leaders quickly offer to spend billions of dollars to “develop” Africa while the same leaders have refused to repatriate billions of dollars corrupt Africans stole and stashed in the Western banks? Double standard or arrant hypocrisy and highest degree of selfishness, you might say. With the strongman of Libya, Moammar Gaddafi killed and Saddam Hussein of Iraq murdered by the West, Western leaders have succeeded in inflicting infections, wound on themselves and creating a seemingly endless precarious abyss, leaving the old check and balance of power in the North Africa and the Middle East politics in a dare danger. Do the Western gods need prophet TB Joshua to tell them that their reckless policies in these parts of the world have breed harbinger of doom in the name of terrorism and migration catastrophe? Gone are the days when Saddam Hussein was Oga in Iraq and Al-Qaida was the only major terrorist group, operating albeit carefully with restraint, limiting its activities to the Western targets. Today, with Saddam, who was once dangerously armed by the USA to checkmate Iran, Syria and other menacing powers in the region, hanged, terrorism has become a child play, the most lucrative business that has bred many murderous cancerous tentacles, spreading rapidly and uncontrollably around the world. How often did you hear of boat immigrants being drowned during the Gaddafi regime? Yes, the same Moammar Gaddafi, who allegedly bankrolled the election of Ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy of France only for the same to unite with other Western leaders after winning the election, to eliminate Gaddafi. The West wants to hurriedly install with the speed of concord, their puppet regimes, camouflaged in democracy – the same democracy that took them thousands of years to finally imbibe. Do we need all the soothsayers in the world to convince the West that democracy is a long process which must not be forced on individuals? Who would say that the angel you do not know is better than the devil you know? Aha!! African sit-tight presidents who have denied their people democracy are now happy that the Western leaders are proved wrong.

How on earth would Western leaders admit openly their reckless mistakes in the Middle East and Africa have created opportunities as well as opportunists? Now innocent citizens are paying the dare price. Security has become porous. Suicide attacks (something very minimal in Gaddafi and Saddam eras) are the order of the day, with ISS audaciously claiming part of Iraq and Syria as its caliphate. Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, etc. have become the breeding grounds for terrorists and potential suicide bombers and Libya, a departure point for desperate immigrants crossing to Europe. The West is feeling the economic, security, cultural, political consequences of their miscalculations, inability and weakness. Something has to be done quickly. The West has a gift for “poor”Africa. The migration gift must be carefully and beautifully packed for obvious seductive impacts. Where does this leave one? Opportunities and opportunists.

Wait! $20 billion for Africa? How will it be shared? Who gets what? $20 billion for Africa? Ah, the Western governments know that much of the money will be coming back to them at the end, anyway. Call it PR or cosmetic games, if you want. Coming back to them? Sure, after some greedy African leaders have stolen the billions and banked them in various accounts in the West. Aha, you now understand the meaning of the Western Economics. The fastidious economics of opportunities and opportunists.

Continues next week: EU $2 Billion Migration Fund: Manna from Heaven for Africans?