Africa a "Chief Host" of Refugees in the World
“Chief Host” is not a title but with a lot of responsibilities because as a host your guests expects almost everything from you to make them comfortable. As a Host, you have to provide for your guests daily needs which attracts extra cost because you never planned or budgeted for that. According to Oxford minireference Dictionary and Thesaurus defines "Host" as a person who entertains guest (s). But, Host expenses and budgets also differs as some used to host dignitaries; a single person or group of persons and sometimes a nation-state with high powered delegation do come as a guest for other country to host, especially when global summits venues are located in your country, so you just imagine the cost. For example, in the early 2000, President Bill Clinton of the United States of America visited Nigeria during Chief Olusengu Obasanjo’s presidency and he stayed for days and he also travelled with his entourage to a satellite town that has expertise in pottery making otherwise known as Bill Clinton Village. The food and water they took, the entertainment they had, the accommodation cost the government bore and the extra security Nigerian government provided during that time would have cost Nigeria an untold sum of money. Again, Queen Elizabeth of England’s visits to Nigeria during the “Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting” (CHOGM) in Nigeria was another cost for the Host. Because Commonwealth Heads of State and their entourage were in attendance. Though, these powerful and superlative visitations were within days and very expensive, but hosting refugees could be in months and years because their means of returning to their places of origin seemed not visible which had fixed Host economies in bad shape.
Now let us consider a country that is hosting tens of thousands of refugees from a neighbouring country as a result of one cause or the other. Africa is known to be the continent with the highest number of civil wars and internal conflicts in the world and that has made Africa the “Chief Host” of Refugees in the world: Like in Liberia, when the rebellions carried arms against President Charles Taylor because he wanted to grip power which caused both internally displaced persons and refugees, and neighbouring countries bore the economic cost as a host example Nigeria. Sudan’s civil war which has become the longest civil war in Africa has caused thousands of refugees and South Sudan was created from Sudan as a remedy to peace. Thus, civil wars in Africa have put Host countries budgets on a difficult position. Feeding of thousands of refugees daily is uneasy for the Host countries because they too have some economic problems. With this analysis refugees are suddenly made as a result of these factors being listed above. No one would opt to be a refugee or internally displaced person because it demoralizes human spirit due to the difficulty attached to it. But as a living being everyone should always expects the unexpected because challenges are part of human life.
A “refugee” can be described as someone that seeks for safety of his/her life as a result of conflicts, civil wars, coups, electoral violence, etc. Although, it is difficult to differentiates refugees from migrants: Migrants are those who seek for a good living condition. Most times they took time to prepare for the journey and that of the refugee moves impromptu, sometimes with a near naked body. Local and international news outlets both print and electronic media displays their conditions. Some Africans had embark on illegal journeys’ just to avoid wars or conflicts that had taking toll in their countries which caused economic chaos; making life unbearable and that is the reason why people are running away to safe havens, especially to Europe and Americas and in course of this movement some of the refugees had a “The Middle Passage” like experience of the slave trade era, where the would-be refugees dies on their way to Europe as a result of ill-health or overloading of pumped rubber boats on the Mediterranean Sea. Then, the slaves were jam-packedly loaded on ships to Europe. While the refugees or migrants were ferried on a pumped floating boat which sometimes recorded boat mishaps. Now the refugees aimed at meeting family relatives and a better living condition in Europe, while the slaves were involuntarily forced to meet up plantation works on their farmlands in Europe and Americas and elsewhere (Spear, 1967).
In conclusion, there is no doubt refugees are caused by these factors as no one would chose to be a refugee because of its unfriendly climatic and economic experience. Factors like wars, coups, internal crises, electoral violence made people to leave their comfort zones.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Opuene Kingsley Inowei