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“Migration is Healthy. It’s not a Disease”, Says African Billionaire Mo Ibrahim

Africans make up about 14% of the global migrant population, a much smaller share than the 41% from Asia and 23% from Europe

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FILE - Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative Middle East & Africa meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, May 6, 2015. VOA

The migration of Africans to Europe and North America should be viewed as a positive phenomenon, not a threat, Sudan-born billionaire Mo Ibrahim said Sunday.

Experts said at a weekend conference hosted by Ibrahim’s foundation in Abidjan, Ivory Coast that Africans make up about 14% of the global migrant population, a much smaller share than the 41% from Asia and 23% from Europe.

“Migration is healthy. It’s not a disease,” Ibrahim told The Associated Press in an interview. “Migration is about aspirations, not desperation. People who migrate are mostly capable, ambitious young people who are migrating to work and to build successful lives. They add wealth to the countries they go to.”

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Now living in Britain, he says African countries should have better education and employment opportunities for their young. Pixabay

Ibrahim also cited statistics to rebut anti-migration politicians who say Africans have inundated Europe.

“Europe is not being flooded by Africans,” Ibrahim said, citing statistics that show 70% of African migrants relocate within Africa.

The 72-year-old philanthropist earned his fortune by establishing the Celtel mobile phone network across Africa.

Now living in Britain, he says African countries should have better education and employment opportunities for their young.

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“Migration is healthy. It’s not a disease,” Ibrahim told The Associated Press in an interview. Wikimedia

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“Farming should be sexy. It should be seen as profitable and productive, not a backward thing,” said Ibrahim. “Yes, IT and technology are important, but agriculture is a way of the future for Africa.”

Ibrahim’s foundation publishes an annual index and awards a leadership prize to encourage good governance in Africa. (VOA)

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Why Young Americans Are Not Moving A Lot Since The Great Recession

Young American adults are staying put more since the Great Recession, but when they do move, they’re not going to the same places as they did before the economic downturn

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Frey, who keeps expecting millennial migration rates to pick up, is disappointed with the numbers. Wikimedia Commons

Young Americans are staying put more since the Great Recession, but when they do move, they’re not going to the same places as they did before the economic downturn of 2007-2009.

In the three years leading up to the recession, more Americans in their 20s and 30s headed to Riverside (California), Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston and Charlotte (North Carolina), according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

“Those were more kind of ‘We’re coming there to buy a house and get a job and make things go,’” says demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution.

Things changed during the recession and in the years that followed.

From 2007 to 2012, America’s metro areas that gained the most millennials were Denver, Houston, Washington, D.C.; Austin (Texas) and Seattle. From 2012 to 2017, the metropolitan areas with the highest net millennial migration were Houston, Denver, Dallas, Seattle and Austin.

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Where US millennials are moving. VOA

“Young people may not be finding the job that they want and they’re not be able to buy a home that they’d like to buy,” Frey says. “At least they want to be in a place maybe where the action is for younger people, the kind with a young person’s amenities, or what you might call places with a cool factor.”

Overall, U.S. millennials are moving at the lowest rate since at least 1996. In 2017, their migration rate was 17%, well below the pre-recession number of almost 23%.

Frey, who keeps expecting millennial migration rates to pick up, is disappointed with the numbers.

“Migration is good for the economy in the sense that people are more able to adapt to changing economic circumstances… if they move to places where jobs are being created,” Frey says.

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“Especially if it’s a movement to purchase a home and to start investing in their future in terms of wealth creation and so forth. I think that’s important so that they’re not stuck in a way that makes them feel like they’re being left behind.”

Frey sees signs that millennials are starting to move to the suburbs and smaller metropolitan areas, as well as to cities located in the interior part of the United States rather than on either the East or West Coast.

“I’m suggesting that when we look at the next round of migration rates, when they come out, we’re going to see a little bit more movement to those kind of more, you know, economically viable and prosperous areas rather than to the cooler areas,” he says. (VOA)