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Migration: African Perspectives - main theme Africa Day 2019!

Since summer 2015, migration has been one of the most important issues in European politics. While migration to the EU is declining, the topic remains popular. The topic also plays a major role in European elections in 2019. The big question in these discussions is: how can irregular migration to the European Union be reduced?  

Even today, many Africans daily risk their lives in search of a new life in Europe. Migration policies in the Netherlands and Europe currently mainly focus on addressing root causes of migration in African countries, such as poverty and unemployment. A lot of money is put into this. Unfortunately, the opinions of (potential) African migrants, are hardly taken into account. How do they view the European commitment to reducing irregular migration by investing in addressing root causes? How can this best be done? And where and how do they envisage their future?

We are currently conducting a study with the Brussels-based think tank FEPS that addresses these questions. Researcher Anne van der Meer is currently in Tunisia, talking to various stakeholders about migration. In November, she already did so in Ghana. What are the motives of these African youths to migrate? What alternatives do they have? What can African governments do to counter irregular migration? What can the EU do in this regard? And how can we ensure that migration is beneficial for all parties involved? Anne explores these questions.

During Africa Day, we will continue to discuss the topic of migration with around 100 speakers and more than 1,000 visitors. With various debates and workshops, we try to find answers to these questions around reducing irregular migration, by bringing precisely the stories from Africa itself.

Together with Cordaid, the FMS is organising the Africa Day main debate, in KIT's Maxima Room, on this topic. In the debate, 'Addressing root causes of irregular migration; dead-end or egg of Columbus?', Akinyi Walender (country director Ethiopia, Cordaid), Judith Sargentini (GroenLinks MEP), Bob van Dillen (migration advisor,Cordaid) and Anne van der Meer (researcher at the FMS), among others, will speak to each other and to you!  

Of course, the debate around migration is not just about reducing irregular migration. That is why dozens of other workshops will take place on Africa Day, discussing various topics that touch on the migration debate. These include a guest lecture by Jan Pronk on development cooperation anno 2020 and the role of migration in it, a workshop by D66 on climate migration in North and sub-Saharan Africa and a workshop by Stichting Lemat on the obstacles and opportunities for migrants in the Netherlands. Something for everyone!

Migration and especially the underexposed African perspective will thus be discussed in many ways at Africa Day 2019. We cordially invite everyone to come along and listen, talk and think about this topical issue.