THE 1964 prediction by the media and communication theorist, Marshall McLuhan, that the world will become a “global village” due to advancement in communication technology, has come to pass. Amazing inventions have shrunk the world.
The age of the Internet and Information and Communications Technology, ICT, brought the world together through the mobile and fixed line telephony, Skype for video conferencing, and now, the Social Media.
But as the world is contracting through communication, its peoples are being increasingly forced by new socio-economic and political problems like wars, terrorism and unemployment to drift apart physically. Migration is now one of the world’s biggest headaches.
Many countries (except Nigeria which recently introduced a Visa on Arrival policy) for “Africans” are more reluctant than ever to leave their borders open to migrants. This is quite understandable. With migrants, refugees and asylum seekers come terrorists and locust-like populations that devour the greenery of the land.
Immigration is responsible for major political crises in many countries. In the United States of America, President Donald Trump is battling to keep some categories of migrants at bay. Immigration is Britain’s main reason for the decision to leave the European Union (Brexit).
Between 1995 and 2015, the number of immigrants from other European Union countries living in the UK tripled from 0.9 million to 3.3 million. In 2015, EU net immigration to the UK was 172,000, only just below the figure of 191,000 for non-EU immigrants.
In South Africa, the gale of xenophobic attacks routinely unleashed on foreigners, especially Nigerians, is linked to immigration. Indigenes are alarmed by the massive influx of other nationals into their lands.
These migrants whom they see as “locusts” compete with the indigenes for the limited jobs and available resources. Some migrants could become terrorists, violent criminals, human traffickers and drug dealers.
On December 29, 2019 the Washington Post published a story titled: “Denied asylum, migrants return to place they fear most: home”. It is sad and a blight of the modern world that people have to fear their home countries most and run to other countries in search of security, shelter and livelihood.
Part of the hostilities that migrants face include incarcerations and deportations, and many of them even lose their lives. There is no place like home. Governments must work harder to give their people the incentive to stay home and help build their economies. Good governance opens new opportunities for the citizens to be gainfully employed.
Governments must give their people good education and healthcare systems and respect their fundamental human rights.
When citizens feel at home in their countries they only make the travels that make them welcome – for business or pleasure.