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How will the developed world deal with migration from sub-Saharan Africa?

By Guy Hallowes - posted Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Population growth, poor governance, and rampant corruption are marginalising a growing proportion of the populations of Africa. The pandemic will only add to this.

The result will be an increase in the numbers of people wanting to leave their homes and a country they know and understand. They will make the difficult and dangerous journey across the Sahara Desert to the shores of the Mediterranean in the hope that somehow, they will be able to improve their lot.

Only consider: the population of Africa is currently about 1.35 billion (2021 figures), up from less than 200 million in 1950, and is forecast to grow to 2.4 billion by 2050. The reason? Mainly the introduction of Western medicine during the colonial era.


To say this growth is unsustainable may be the understatement of the century.

African governments, in short, aren't coping with the situation.

Exacerbating this, the economic growth rate is less than the population growth rate. The UN (2019) estimates Sub-Saharan population growth rate at 2.7% per annum. The World Bank (2019) put Sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth rate at 2.2% per annum, while the International Labor Organization's 2020 estimate of Sub-Saharan Africa's unemployment rate at 6.176% – an underestimation.

In other words, the region's economic growth rate is lower than its population growth rate. The result will be a continuing rise in the unemployment rate, meaning more people will feel they are unneeded and unwanted by their own society.

With its One Child policy, China showed the world that the way out of poverty is for the economic growth rate to be higher than the population growth rate.

Making matters worse is the Covid 19 pandemic. Figures emanating from Africa are understated. For example:


Reported Covid cases:

  • South Africa reported cases 1.49 million (55% of Africa total)
  • Nigeria reported cases 146 thousand. (5% 0f Africa total)


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About the Author

Sydney-based Guy Hallowes is the author of Icefall, a thriller dealing with the consequences of climate change. He has also written several novels on the change from Colonial to Majority rule in Africa. To buy browse and buy his books click here.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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