NewsEU's Migration Dilemma: Billions Spent with Mixed Outcomes

EU's Migration Dilemma: Billions Spent with Mixed Outcomes

Abdourahmane Tchani
Abdourahmane Tchani
Images source: © Wikipedia
7:31 AM EST, January 23, 2024

In a significant shift in migration dynamics, Agadez, a remote desert city in Niger, has reemerged as a crucial junction for African migrants on their journey towards Europe. This development follows years of restrictive policies under an EU deal to curb migration. This article explores the multifaceted aspects of this renewed migratory phenomenon, drawing insights from recent reports and expert analyses.

Agadez: The Sahara's Migrant Metropolis

Agadez, historically a hub for trans-Saharan trade, has regained its role as a central point in African migration. The city, known for its low mud-brick buildings, has seen a resurgence of activity, with thousands of migrants from West and Central Africa departing weekly towards North Africa. This revival comes after relative inactivity due to a European Union-backed initiative to reduce migration​​. General Abdourahamane Tchiani, who got in charge of the country after overthrowing the government and taking the prime minister hostage, sees migration and even human trafficking as an economic opportunity for the whole region.

The European Union's Multifaceted Approach to Migration

The EU has invested billions in migration management, with a substantial portion of its funds dedicated to controlling irregular migration. Despite these efforts, most African migrants move within the continent, seeking refuge in neighboring countries and regions. This regional movement contrasts with the European focus on managing cross-continental migration. Notably, the EU's measures have decreased irregular border crossings by African nationals since 2015. However, the overall impact on migratory movements towards the EU appears limited​​.

Intraregional Migration: A Persistent Trend

Contrary to popular perception, most African migration remains intraregional. Estimates suggest that around 21 million Africans reside in another African country, with urban centers in Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt being prime destinations. This trend highlights the importance of understanding migration within the African context and tailoring interventions accordingly. Climate-related disasters are projected to exacerbate vulnerabilities, potentially leading to increased migration within Africa and other continents​​.

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