Many Nigerians especially the youth have been confined in various prisons in Europe for violating immigration laws. For this reason, The President of Goodwill Homage Foundation, Netherlands, Elder Josha Ebule is in the country to sensitise them on the new law regarding travelling to Europe. He speaks to LEONARD OKACHIE on the project. Excerpts
What does your project do?
Goodwill Homage Foundation is a broad organisation that deals with social integration, education and information in the Netherlands.We are in Nigeria with the project that has been signed by the European Union and Dutch Ministry of Justice in order to sensitise Nigerians on the present situation of law on what it means for intending travellers to European states, in terms of immigration in the Netherlands or the European states.
It is no secret that for the past decade the economies of African countries has been booming. Of the 10 fastest growing economies of the last 10 years, 6 are from Africa. The fastest growing economy in the world right now is that of Ghana. We see this booming economy in Africa manifesting itself in different ways for different countries. To begin with most countries are investing billions of dollars in their infrastructure in Africa . And this is not only for a few countries like Nigeria, Angola and Ethiopia but in every African country today the economy is growing faster than that of Europe. If you board a plane these days for Africa you might find out that you are one of the few Africans in the plane for they are filled with European, American and Chinese business men on their way to do business in Africa. And its not just the major countries. Even countries like Turkey, Thailand and Russia have discovered Africa and are moving masses of people there to do business.
However although African economies have created roughly 73 million jobs in the last 10 years according to the world bank, unemployment rate among the youths is still one of the highest in the world. For one thing, by virtue of the fact that the population is still very young, the economies have not been able to create enough jobs for the youth population even though their levels of education have been increasing. The phenomena of youths leaving the University and still being unemployed is therefore very common these days. Apparently, what we see are a high number of well educated unemployed persons, a higher number of unemployed with little or no education, and a growing group in the middle who manage to earn an income in the informal sector.
On the other hand for migrants in Europe especially Africans are witnessing a situation where the immigration regime is becoming even more strict for Africans who are recognised on the basis of the colour of their skin. In Greece for instance but also in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany, Africans are regularly attacked on the streets and beaten up by anti migrant groups. In the Netherlands recently a law has been enacted which makes illegal immigration a criminal offence. It means that once caught you go to Prison and must pay a fine of 1500 euros before you are taken out and deported to your country of origin.
So here is the deal. Rather than sit here in a desperate situation without any future prospects, how will you like to take advantage of the booming economies in Africa by starting and running your own business in partnership with us? We can provide you with seed capital, with training, with information and our organisation about specific sectors that you can go back and invest in as well as training in that specific sector here. Do you want to open a European style restaurant in Africa, or a MacDonalds restaurant, we can help you. Do you want to open a printing press with modern printing equipment to service Newspapers and others? We can help you. Do you want to open a radio station or a TV studio or TV production house? We can help you. Would you like to open a hair dressing saloon, a pedicure and manicure shop in the busiest part of town? We are there on the ground to help you. Do you want to open a chicken farm that produces more than a 1000 chicken a week? We will not only show you how, we will help set it up for you and make sure you get the practical training here before going. Whatever your business dreams are, we can make them come true for you in ways that you have never dreamt of. This is Africa's time to grow and this is your time to finally do something with your life.