Europeans migrating to Africa
Posted by African Press International on August 21, 2012
The future of many Europeans living in the Eurozone is very precarious. Countries like Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal are hardest hit by the economic crisis. These has caused migration by many Europeans to Scandinavian countries seeking employment.
But some Europeans are looking for jobs and better economic opportunities out of Europe, they are moving to in Africa.
A country that has seen a significant increase in European migration to Africa is Mozambique. The Southeastern African country has in the last two to three years experienced drastic social dynamic changes as many Portuguese migrate there, escaping the uncertainty in their country.
Although Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal in 1975, and retains Portuguese as its national language, many in the African country continued until recently to see the former colonial power as a land of opportunity.
But now, with Portugal trapped in financial woes amid a worsening European debt crisis, that perception is increasingly being reversed.
The Portuguese ambassador Graca Pereira says she’s seen a rise in experienced, university-educated Portuguese migrating to Mozambique looking for a brighter future.
In addition to the common language, familiar architecture and rich culture, the main attraction for many Portuguese is Mozambique’s impressive economic performance in recent years.
According to the African Economic Outlook Mozambique’s economy grew by 7.2% in 2011. This has boosted the country’s first overseas export of coal, as well as strong performances by the transport, communications, construction and financial services sectors.
According to reports, locals in Maputo are calm and hardly moved by the sudden changes in their society. They also claim that there are new arrivals from Portugal into Mozambique nearly every day.
One of many new Portuguese immigrants in Maputo is Vanessa Souza. A 32-year-old who left Lisbon in January and is now working for a successful South African consumer goods company. She claims she’s earning more than she did back home, works shorter hours, can afford a car, cell phone and insurance. Things she was unable to provide for herself while she was in Portugal.
Now that the roles have been changed and the Portuguese are tapping into Mozambique’s growing and golden opportunity. Many locals say there has been little backlash to the return of the Portuguese to the country this time, however, under very different circumstances compared to the colonial era.
Economist Hipolito Hamela argues that the migration is a positive thing for his country.
“New businesses that are being set up will create jobs for local Mozambicans, while the influx of foreign skills will help the country’s development a great deal,” he stated.
He also added that the government quotas on the number of foreigners that a company can hire ensuring that local jobs are protected. Angola is also a Portuguese colony is experiencing an influx in the Portuguese migration.
By Elizabeth M.Koikai