Africa's 'Scramble for Europe'

March 7, 2018 - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Stephen W. Smith, Ph.D.
Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall
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Donald Trump was elected by rousing hysteria about an "invasion" that is not going to happen. Over the past ten years, more Mexican migrants have returned south of the Rio Grande than newcomers have moved to the United States. The U.S. population stands at 325 million while all of Latin America accounts for twice as many inhabitants, 650 million. In 2050, this ratio will be unchanged if not more favorable to North Americans. Europe and Africa is a different story. Migratory pressure between the two continents will soon reach a crescendo. Today, 510 million people live inside EU borders and 1.25 billion people in Africa. The Europeans are rapidly aging, whereas 40 percent of the Africans are under 15. By 2050, 450 million Europeans will face 2.5 billion Africans, five times the European population. The 'Scramble for Europe' will become as likely inexorable, as was the 'Scramble for Africa' at the end of the 19th century. In its age of industrialization and mass production, Europe conquered Africa, a sparsely populated continent six times its size. Then it was all about raw materials and national pride. Europe's "wretched refuse" migrated massively to America, not Africa. Now it is about young Africans seeking a better life on the Old Continent, the island of prosperity within their reach.

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  • Duke University Center for International and Global Studies
  • John Hope Franklin Center
  • Africa Initiative
  • Wednesdays at the Center Series