Migrant 2

Blue in Focus

Blue in Focus London Film Launch


The recent visit to Tangiers in Morocco was a journey to meet with African migrants who have traveled from mostly W.Africa and without exception most are infact economic refugees escaping poverty and unemployment.The largest numbers of refugees are from Africa’s most populous country Nigeria a country with a population exceeding 186 million peoples.
My contact address whilst in Tangiers was St Andrews Anglican church and here I was to meet a former Liberian child soldier by the name of Christopher Johnson who would be my guide and companion during my visit to this norther Moroccan city and the closest point to Europe on the African continent.
From Tangiers one could view Gibraltar and the Spanish coastline and to any unsuspecting migrant the crossing to the southern European coastline might appear to be easy but the currents between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean sea are notoriously treacherous and many unsuspecting migrants have lost their lives trying to cross from Africa to Europe.
During my visit to Tangiers I was to meet mostly young economically active sub Saharan Africans whose origins are without exception from W.Africa.
My quest in coming to meet these migrants was to learn more about their personal stories and to listen to why they had chosen to leave their countries of origins.
There are two methods of making the crossing to Europe one route was to attempt to scale the border fence between the Spanish enclave of Ceuta and Morocco.
The more dangerous route would be by boat across the Mediterranean sea to the coastline of southern Spain.
The one factor that drives Africans to leave their countries of origin is the dysfunctional nature of the countries from where they originate from.With population growth rates of twice the global average populations in Sub – Saharan Africa are rapidly growing beyond all forms of management.
African governments are incapable of providing employment and other fundamental services,political insecurity and regional conflicts are other factors that are increasing the flow of migrants seeking employment and security.
What we are witnessing is infact nothing new human communities have been migrating around the world for thousands of years and one only needs to look at the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and even South Africa on the tip of the continent.
Europeans have been escaping poverty and religious persecution for hundreds of years.

Europe has a history of conquering and settling distant lands for the last five hundred years and Tangiers has a history of migrants travelling to Europe and escaping European religious tyranny.

Most of the young migrants I was to meet were secretive and unwilling to talk about how they were planning on crossing to Europe and one can also assume that criminal syndicates run by Moroccans and Nigerians are arranging organised boat crossings to Europe for fees in excess of $2000 per person.
What can be assessed is that population growth is bound to have environmental im-pacts on natural resources and with populations set to double across Africa
political turmoil and insecurity will lead to even greater numbers of migrants seeking to leave their countries of origin.