African Immigrants are letting Africa down.


African immigrants are people born in Africa who travel to other parts of the world to live temporarily or permanently. Thus, my focus is on Africans who leave the shores of Africa to live in Europe and America, those two parts of the world being the most visited. The inward flow of African immigrant to Europe and other parts of the world started in the latter part of the twentieth century.

Migration to Europe and America started largely at the end of the colonial era. When many African countries got independence, the nationals of those countries were in search of better living conditions and foreign countries offered part of that. Many became immigrants with the intention of staying temporarily, but many never of them never returned to their countries for reasons best known to them. Since the 1960’s, the major origin countries of migration from Africa to European countries have been Algeria and Morocco. From 2000-2005, an estimated 440,000 Africans per year migrate from Africa to Europe with the majority of them from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. According to the International Organization for Migration by  2007, about 4.6 million African migrants lived in Europe.

The United States is one major country outside Europe that receives African immigrants. It is estimated by  Pew Research Centre (November 2016) that about 1.8 million Africans live in the United States. The countries with the highest number of migrants to the United States are Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Eritrea.  This migration from Africa has also seen the birth of famous African immigrants including: Claude Ake (a Nigerian professor at Yale University), Emmanuel Akyeampong (a Ghanaian professor at Harvard University}, Festus Ezeli {Nigerian NBA basketballet}, Cynthia Adai Robinson (Ghana born Eropean actress), Michael Blackson, Edi Galhegi and Omar Sharif.

There are a variety of factors responsible for African migration to Europe and the United States. One of the major causes is education. According to available data, African immigrants in the United States are the most educated group in the United States. 49% of all African immigrants in the U.S hold a college diploma. This is far more than the number of native born Americans that have a college diploma. Based on the year 2000 census, Egyptians and Nigerians in the U.S are highest holders of college diploma. Specifically, 59% of Nigerians and 60% of Egyptians in America have a college diploma. There is no denying that this reality is known to both the immigrants and the natives.

Americans take advantage of this reality.  This is obvious in the number of Africans that are relevant in the fields of academics and Science in the States. Claude Ake, a Nigerian, is one of the most influential and celebrated professors in Yale University. He is well known among students and fellow lecturers as an icon of academic excellence. Emmanuel Akyeampong, a Ghaniain, is a celebrated professor of History at Harvard University. Augustine Banyaga, a Rwandan, is a professor at Pennsylvania State University. These and others have changed the view of Americans and the world about the commitment of Africans to knowledge and education. A friend of mine once exclaimed, “what would happen to education in America without these Africans!”

A reasonable person would want to know the effect of this phenomenon on Africans. Although it has been demonstrated to the world that African immigrants are intellectuals, it is a trend that has left Africa in a pitiable condition as far as education is concerned. Talented Africans run away from the shores of Africa and make another man’s land better, leaving their countries behind in the shackles of poor education. These educated African immigrants have refused to see to the academic development of their countries. No wonder Africa is behind in the field of science and technology. Perhaps we would be better off if these people remember their sources and pull efforts to make our educational standard equal to that of America and European countries. The knowledge they have garnered is enough to help them achieve this.




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