Experts in the travel and security industry have said that lack of migration data and insecurity are hampering Africa’s integration.
They noted that there’s no data to measure the movement of people within the continent and there’s a need to look at migration with a wider scope while building the economy.
The experts spoke at the ongoing annual Africa Business Convention 2023, themed “Africa connected” organised by BusinessDay.
Ndubuisi Nwokolo, partner and chief executive, Nextier security, peace and development said that migration has come to stay but what is more important is how to use it to our favor in the African continent.
“As a traveler, you don’t keep enemies.
Migration has come to stay, it’s also an enabler, it’s about how you deploy and use it to the interest of the African continent that matters,” Nwokolo said.
Jonathan Sandy, executive chairperson of the regional center for governance and security policy initiative, said that there are only 253 non-state armed groups in Africa, which indicates a security threat. One of the issues affecting African countries is the inability to manage political capacity.
With elections scheduled for several African nations in the upcoming months, but only 18 days until Nigeria’s presidential election, analysts underlined that the right people have to be chosen in order for the system to function properly.
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According to Adenike Macaulay, Wakanow CEO, there has been a dramatic rise in outward travel compared to four years ago because of the upcoming election.
“Outbound travel is increasing exponentially; four years ago, it wasn’t this terrible. We have noticed early booking activity in December against the election in February ,” Macaulay added.
She said that the air border has more security documentation than other modes of transportation, and because those other locations lack documentation, there is a greater chance of security threat.
“Control has to be put in place to mitigate the movement of people across various boards,” Macaulay said.
Nwokolo also said that, both legal and illegal immigration can be seen, and individuals who migrate legitimately have a lower risk of posing a security danger.
“Those who are migrating legally, have a low tendency of being a security threat or risk is minimal,” Nwokolo said.
“We should begin the integration process; we shouldn’t start in the backyard, while also dealing with institutional challenges and corruption problems. We must consider the style of government we want in order to tackle the issue, “said Nwokolo.
“Election security and management is critical in Nigeria and West Africa as a whole and we have an election in a few days. We have to step up,” Sandy said.