African Exodus: Migration and the Future of Europe

In This Review

African Exodus: Migration and the Future of Europe
By Asfa-Wossen Asserate. Translated by Peter Lewis
Haus, 2018
226 pp.
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In this short, snappy book, Asserate places the recent surge in flows of migrants from Africa to Europe in the context of the centuries-long relationship between the two continents. Africans, he says, are trying to escape their dysfunctional home countries. Conflict, bad governance, and stagnant economies leave many Africans with such dismal prospects that they are willing to attempt the perilous journey. Asserate does not believe that it is possible to stop them—or ethical to try. In his view, the only practical solution is the economic and political development of Africa, to which Europe should now dedicate itself. Since he blames the legacy of European colonialism for much of what ails African countries, he believes the continent has a moral obligation to make a massive effort on behalf of Africans. Even if one does not agree with his normative argument, Asserate is clearly right that in the long run, the only way to moderate illegal migrant flows from Africa is to improve the welfare of Africans at home.

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