[dropcap]I[/dropcap]magine a world in which young Europeans try to desperately reach Africa Paradise by the Beninese Sylvestre Amoussou. It is a movie about a French couple which, in 2033, tries to leave a Africa. However, African border guards stop them, and this is where their troubles start….
It may sounds a phantasm to most but is a future increase in European migration to Africa really that unrealistic?
In fact, it is already happening. More and more Europeans are settling in the Maghreb, West Africa and elsewhere on the continent to work, to do business or to retire. But why are they usually not seen as migrants, but as expatriates?
Why would they not be migrants? Because they are not considered as “poor” or “desperate”? (At least, this is the way Western Africa to discover the world and/or themselves, but often fail to realize that young Africans may have similar desires and dreams.
This is why films like Africa Paradise are important. It compels Europeans viewers to look themselves into the mirror and to imagine how it would be to be on the other side. But it also compels African viewers to consider racism and xenophobia in their own Africa Paradise will not play out, this is an important message. Because it is very likely that the future of global migration will look fundamentally different from now.
And why would people not go to Africa?
While income differences between Europe and most African countries are still huge, many African economies have been growing fast and offer many Senegal and South Africa attract increasing number of migrants from within Africa, they also attract increasing number of migrants from outside. And these are not only Europeans. According to some estimates about one million Chinese already live in Africa.
Thinking about Africa as a migration paradise does not only help to correct stereotypes about Africa, but can also help Europeans to look themselves into the mirror. What if?Hein de Haas