Last week’s post referred to the WEF meeting that took place two weeks ago in Kigali, Rwanda. One of the blog followers made the following comment: “No economic development will be possible in Africa as long as peace is absent from the process.” I couldn’t agree any more. The comment is in line with my view that economic development can’t be decoupled from social development, and peace is a must . Actually, one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063 is “Silencing the guns by 2020.”
How does the current picture look like? I got some information from an article by Iván Navarro, researcher at Escola de Cultura de Pau (School for a Culture of Peace) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In turn, this article draws from data sourced by the United Nations Refugee Agency report on Forced Displacement in 2014:
59.5 million people are estimated to have been forcibly displaced (forced to leave their homes due to conflict and persecution) in 2014. Of these:
- 5 million were refugees – people who have fled from their own country. 77 % (15 million) of refugees come from 10 countries, 6 of which are African countries: Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central Africa Republic (CAR), and Eritrea.
- 2 million were internally displaced people – people who have fled from their homes but remain in their own country. 77% of displaced people live in 10 countries, half of which are in Africa: Sudan, DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria.
- 8 million people are asylum-seekers
To highlight: 57 % of refugees were hosted in 10 countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Chad, and Uganda. The other 6 countries are: Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, and China.
One could say that there is a geographic-distance effect: people tend to flee to near-by countries. Certainly. But one thing is to try to flee, and another is to be hosted. Is geographic distance the only effect at work? Any hints for Europe?
You may want to take a look at a related post: African Women – A Force for Peace.