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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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Trump Announces Migration Deal with Mexico, Averting Threatened Tariffs

U.S. President Donald Trump said late Friday that the United States and Mexico had reached a deal

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Trump, Migration, Deal, Mexico
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump hold hands and wave at supporters as they walk across the South Lawn on their return to the White House, June 7, 2019, in Washington. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump said late Friday that the United States and Mexico had reached a deal on migration to avert tariffs.

“I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” he tweeted.

“Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States,” Trump said.

Earlier Friday, Trump had tweeted that there was a “good chance” the two sides would reach a deal to avert tariffs over the surge of migrants across the U.S. border. However, he added, “If we are unable to make the deal, Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!”

Trump, Migration, Deal, Mexico
An employee fuels up a truck with a cargo trailer loaded with goods to import, at the “Fletes Sotelo” moving company, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, June 7, 2019. Companies were rushing to ship as many goods as possible out of Mexico to get ahead of possible tariffs threatened by President Donald Trump. VOA

U.S. and Mexican officials returned to the negotiating table Friday for a third day of talks to find a way to stem the migrant flow.

Effect on hiring?

Trump’s trade wars with Mexico and other countries appeared to have spooked American companies into putting the brakes on hiring. They added just 75,000 jobs in May, far fewer than the 180,000 economists expected, the Labor Department reported Friday.

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Although the jobless rate held steady at a 50-year low of 3.6%, Friday’s figures were the latest signal that the U.S. economy, while healthy, is weakening. Manufacturers, which are particularly sensitive to trade disputes, added only 3,000 jobs, extending an anemic streak of hiring in the sector.

Trump, Migration, Deal, Mexico
A migration official checks passengers on a bus, at a checkpoint on the highway in Tapachula, Chiapas state, Mexico, June 7, 2019. VOA
 U.S. and Mexican officials discussed a deal calling for Mexico to sharply increase patrols of its border with Guatemala to curb migration, The Washington Post reported, with the deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops. The newspaper said Mexico and the U.S. could overhaul asylum rules throughout the region, requiring Central Americans to first seek refuge in Mexico rather than traveling through it to reach the U.S.

With such a plan in place, the United States could send Guatemala asylum seekers to Mexico, and those from Honduras and El Salvador to Guatemala.

Earlier Friday in Mexico City, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reiterated his own optimistic position.

Causes of ‘chaos’

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“There is dialogue and an agreement can be reached,” Lopez Obrador said. “I’m optimistic we can achieve that.” He added it was a mistake, though, for the U.S. to link migration with trade, saying again that migration must be addressed by solving social and economic problems in Central America.

Trump, Migration, Deal, Mexico
Avocados from Mexico are seen for sale in a store in Washington, June 6, 2019. Mexican-grown foods would have been hit hard by President Donald Trump’s threatened tariffs, but Trump dropped his plan after the two nations struck a deal on stemming the flow of migrants from Central America. VOA

“The causes of the migratory chaos aren’t being analyzed, only the effects,” he said.

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U.S. authorities have said more than 100,000 undocumented migrants, mostly from the three Central American countries, have crossed into the United States in recent months. The U.S. government announced Wednesday that in May, 144,000 migrants were detained at the border, up 32% from April. It was the highest monthly figure in 13 years.

Trump, Migration, Deal, Mexico
Migrants cross the Rio Grande into the United States, to turn themselves over to authorities and ask for asylum, as seen from Ciudad, Juarez, June 7, 2019. The U.S. Border Patrol’s apprehensions of migrants at the border with Mexico hit their highest level in more than a decade in May. VOA

Some Republican lawmakers, normally close political allies of Trump, had said they would try to block any potential tariffs with legislation, which would have drawn wide support from opposition Democrats. Numerous lawmakers feared rising consumer costs for Americans if the tariffs were imposed on Mexican goods, including cars and numerous food products exported to the U.S. (VOA)