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‘Africa, third world nations migrants crucial for global economic development’

JIFORM seeks collaboration on annual migration conference in Canada

As India, Mexico, China, Philippines, Egypt top Diaspora remittances

By EDU ABADE,

 

The Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) has asserted that the millions of migrants from Africa and other third world countries, who are constantly being harassed in Europe, North and South America and elsewhere under the guise of irregular migration remain crucial for global economic development.

It, therefore, urged the United Nations (UN) to be firm and rise to the defense of millions of African migrants, who are constantly being disdained, harassed, persecuted and treated as sub-humans by the authorities of their host countries.

President of JIFORM, Dr. Ajibola Abayomi, stated this in his address titled: _Exploring The Benefits of Migration to Retool the Global Economy_ during the First Fridays edition of the Economic Development Forum (EDF) in Toronto, Canada on October 7, 2022. Lamenting the massacre of defenseless migrants at the Moroccan and
Spainish border this year, as well as the continuous inhuman treatment meted to migrants around the Mediterranean Sea, he said the situation called for serious investigation and serious concern, adding that beyond
migration and its relevant data, for prosperity to continue globally, countries must imbibe the culture of tolerance, empathy and open door policies to welcome migrants for sustained development.

“All barriers aimed at furthering racism, discrimination and separatist tendencies must be discouraged. All of us are one people, one creation with potential to add value to global development. Given the foregoing, I urge world leaders to end the undue occupational war in Ukraine leading to millions of people now being classified as victims of forced migration.

“In the midst of these the pronounced discrimination against the blacks to access same opportunity for survival like their fellow white counterparts is not acceptable as just standard,” he said.

He also pledged the group’s commitment towards organizing an annual migration conference in Canada in its efforts to engender continuous robust discussions and serve as a rallying point for media practitioners and migration stakeholders across the globe.

To that effect, the group has sought the collaboration of good spirited individuals, corporate organization and interested stakeholders to work with its members on the project aimed at enhancing capacity building for
journalists and other migration stakeholders across the globe.

He said: “We are ready to network with other organizations to spread the campaign on regular migration and economic development. Indeed, Canada has shown us love and we are ready to make the country our
permanent base to contribute to its growth in all ramifications.

“It is an honour to be invited to speak at the Economic Development Forum organized by First Fridays in Toronto, Canada. I commend the organizers of this important event. Indeed our organization, JIFORM is proud to associate with the team as a worthy partner.

“JIFORM is a global media movement founded in 2019 in Nigeria and presently comprising over 300 journalists covering migration matters across the continents.

“Having organized a series of conferences and capacity building programmes for journalists and other stakeholders, in Africa and other nations, we are in Canada this year to sustain the momentum for the third JIFORM Global Migration summit being hosted by the Abedorc Productions Incorporated, while the special award session is billed for October 15, 2022 at the Afromedia Studio in Toronto.”

Abayomi, who solicited partnership with all stakeholders on effective reporting of migration issues, described JIFORM as a movement by a group of determined journalists desirous of a positive paradigm shift in
migration governance globally. He paid glowing tribute to the former Secretary to the Government of
Canada and erstwhile Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Honorable Gerry Weiner for all his encouragement and support for JIFORM over the years.

More importantly, I salute Canada, a great nation and her heart-warming people for the hospitality and the friendly migration policies over the years from which citizens of several countries are profiting from.

All of us are now living with the reality of Martin Lutter King’s famous quote since August 1963: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. The global economic development has transcended colour or race, but rather it is a show of intellect and initiatives. Therefore, we all have a duty irrespective of our field to contribute our own quota to the world a better place for all.

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“For JIFORM, the best way to reap the economic benefits of migration is when it is done through a regular channel that will ultimately lead to a prosperous end as against irregular migration that usually ends in
sorrow.

“I personally cherish the opportunity to work and exchange ideas with the President of First Fridays, Warren Salmot Walmot in the few months I have known him through Prof. Byron Price from the Medger Evers College,
City University in the United States of America.

“My presentation, which focuses on Exploring Benefits of Migration to Retool the Global Economy, is a statement of reality that human mobility is the fulcrum of any economy, because no nation can exist alone without relating with others. Migration is, therefore, a serious business from which many developed countries especially Canada, US, Britain and other developing nations have benefitted from.”

He explained that in 2019 alone, a total of $714 billion remittances were transferred globally by migrants in the Diaspora to their respective countries as reported by the World Bank, adding that the current global estimate shows that there were about 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020, which translated to 3.6 per
cent of global population.

Abayomi further stated that overall the estimated number of international migrants has increased over the past five decades. These people are developers of economies such that if well managed, they remain veritable assets any day.

To further underscore the import role of migration to the economy, officially recorded remittance flows to low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent last year (2021) to reach $630 billion. This follows recovery of 8.6 per cent in 2021, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief (MDF).

“In 2021, remittance inflows saw strong gains in Latin America and the Caribbean (25.3 per cent), Sub-Saharan Africa (14.1 per cent), Europe and Central Asia (7.8 per cent), the Middle East and North Africa (7.6 per cent), and South Asia (6.9 per cent).

“Remittances to East Asia and the Pacific fell by 3.3 per cent; although excluding China, remittances grew 2.5 per cent. Excluding China, it is an indisputable fact that remittance flows have been the largest source of external finance for LMICs since 2015,” he added.

Speaking further, he pointed out that the top five recipient countries of Diaspora remittances in 2021 were India, Mexico (replacing China), China, the Philippines and Egypt. Among economies where remittance inflows stand at very high shares of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are Lebanon (54 per cent), Tonga (44 per cent), Tajikistan (34 per cent), Kyrgyz Republic (33 per cent) and Samoa (32 per cent).

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